Tanzania: PM Set to Launch New Digital Health Strategy

THE government is today expected to launch the country's new digital health strategy to ensure transparency and reliable data for effective decision-making.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa is expected to launch the strategy alongside the national non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and control programme to curb increased NCDs in the country.

Director of Curative Services in the Ministry of Health, Grace Magembe told reporters yesterday that the launch of the digital health strategy and digital library would give stakeholder access to information on existing health initiatives and documents.

She said the five-year digital health strategy would facilitate digital health and improve health services in the country.

"The strategy establishes the government of Tanzania as a global leader in digital healthcare and paves the way for better patient treatment outcomes," said the director.

She said one of the critical components of the strategy was governance, which added value to the government's new digital health strategy.

The bodies that will be primarily responsible for implementing the strategy and programme are the National Digital Health Steering Committees (NDHSC) and the National Digital Health Secretariat (NDHS).

"To ensure effective implementation of the strategy," Ms Magembe said, "the government will also launch a technical working group, an online platform that will digitalise activities of health sector technical working groups."

Ms Magembe explained that the new strategic plan was in line with the Tanzania Development Vision 2025, the Health Sector Strategic Plan (2015-2020) and other key policies advancing the country's efforts to build an end to end interoperable digital health system.

"A national digital health system will enable the government to set aside resources for the most health impact, enable real time data on emerging disease cases to prevent epidemics," she said.

For his part, Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Haji Bamisi noted that the strategy built on and directly responded to what was learnt from previous strategies (2013-2018).

He said for the design of the new strategy the government consulted the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union National e-Health Strategy Toolkit.

He said the strategy identified 10 strategic priorities ranging from the need to strengthen digital governance and leadership and the importance of improving the supply chain management of health products.

Ms Magembe said they had a non-communicable diseases public awareness week which went along with free medical check-ups at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma.

"The aim is to help create awareness of such diseases and end new infections," she said, adding that the diseases were caused mainly by unhealthy lifestyles.

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