We identify unmet needs in the health system and analyze priorities related to Tanzania’s disease burden on an ongoing basis. Below are projects we plan to implement.
In Tanzania, there is only one pharmaceutical personnel for every 100,000 people. The shortage of pharmacists to dispense and offer expertise on the safe use of medications exacerbates the country’s drug availability issues. Pharmacy technologists, who are in charge of inventory management, are also in short supply.
Tanzania’s government plans to double the number of pharmacists and pharmacy technologists by 2024. In alignment with government strategy, Touch will develop the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences’ pharmacy school, supporting faculty development and upgrading laboratory and teaching equipment. We also plan to support curriculum updates, including developing storage and supply chain management modules.
As with other healthcare disciplines, we will initiate external clinical rotations for pharmacy students so that they will gain experience in industry and at rural Treat & Train facilities. This will allow them to gain in-service training while also helping short-staffed health facilities improve their quality.
eHealth expands our reach of impact, making healthcare and delivery more cost-effective. Touch would like to implement an eLearning solution and help to launch the use of electronic medical records.
An eLearning solution would improve education by expanding access to learning materials and freeing up professors’ time with computer-based testing and grading. Eventually, eLearning capability could vastly expand student enrollment and tuition revenue with distance learning options.
Electronic medical records would improve patient care and the ability to track the impact of various interventions.
Only one public hospital in Tanzania contains a center dedicated to orthopedic surgery. The only public university offering specialty training in orthopedics has a program capacity of ten students. The cost of this specialty training is the same price as training for a five year medical degree, which serves as an additional barrier to interested students.
There is a need for increased orthopedic services, in large part, because of the frequency of road traffic injuries. More than 90% of road injury deaths occur in developing countries, where preventive efforts are minimal, and health systems are unprepared to meet the challenge. With an increase in access to transportation in Tanzania and other developing countries, Bugando Medical Centre has seen road accident cases double within a three-year period.
We plan to develop Bugando into a center of excellence for orthopedic services, and in particular orthopedic surgery. In addition to upgrading medical equipment and technology, Touch will also support additional exposure to orthopedics for clinicians and supporting staff and establish an orthopedic medical specialty program. In combination with our eHealth initiatives, we will link Bugando with international universities and orthopedic institutions to improve the availability of experts and faculty.
Touch continues to assess the needs of the Tanzanian population and health system.
We have a pipeline of future initiatives under development or in the early stages of fundraising, such as health financing and payment systems, supply chain and procurement, health system management, referral and transportation, patient and healthcare worker safety, and diagnostic and testing systems.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Liz Pavlovich at Liz_Pavlovich@McKinsey.com.