Sub-Saharan Africa faces a severe healthcare worker shortage and an inequitable distribution of existing healthcare workers. After over 10 years of addressing healthcare worker undersupply by setting up an impactful training program (learn more here), we became acutely aware of another challenge that exacerbates threats caused by the healthcare worker shortage: healthcare workers were being allocated across Tanzania without a consistent, needs-based approach. This magnifies the existing gaps in healthcare access.
Healthcare worker deployment is complicated by undersupply and limited funds available for staff salaries. Moreover, centralized systems to help “match” healthcare workers to facilities that need them most generally do not exist. We created POA, a data-driven system, to support governments and other workforce planners in placing scarce healthcare workers to ensure they are equitably distributed.
Our Prioritization and Optimization Analysis (POA) system uses government data to suggest optimal deployments of healthcare workers at the touch of a button. The solution considers existing health system realties (including budgets, health worker supply, and service standards) and provide data-driven recommendations on equitable healthcare worker placement.