The United Republic of Tanzania is an east African country with many neighbors, it is bordered by Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, the DRC, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Tanzania has a population of nearly 54 million and is home to Africa’s highest mountain; mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzania is in a transition, moving its government functions from the largest city and former capital Dar Es Salaam to the more-inland current capital Dodoma. Tanzania consists of two former colonies, Tanganyika and the Zanzibar Archipelago, which were combined in 1964 with the former colonies’ names combined into the clipped compound name of Tanzania. Tanzania’s coastline and Zanzibar Archipelago have a long history of trade to the extent that the ancient Greeks had a name for Zanzibar island, while the more in-land territories were well known for producing iron and steel.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. Tanzania’s economy is ranked 23rd among sub-Saharan countries but the economy has weathered the 2009 global recession well and has shown average growth of about 3,5% annually between 2009 and 2013. Poverty is high in Tanzania, with poor availability and quality of healthcare, leading to a life expectancy of 61 and high maternal and infant mortality rates.
Tuberculosis in the country
In 2015, Tanzania’s mortality rate due to tuberculosis was 30,000, with 25,000 more dying of a result from a combination of HIV and TB. The Tanzanian National TB Program aims to fight both leprosy and TB and is supported by KNCV, the WHO and many others.
KNCV Activities in the country
Tanzania’s only drug-resistant TB treatment initiation site in Kilimanjaro was strengthened, and we supported the decentralization of quality programmatic management of drug-resistant TB services and short-course drug regimens.
Tanzania is a country where the Challenge TB program is active. Challenge TB is USAID’s flagship global mechanism for implementing USAID’s TB Strategy and is led by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, who also led USAID’s previous TB Control projects TB CARE I, TB CAP and TBCTA.99% of all notified TB patients are tested for HIV.
Services were brought closer to home for multidrug-resistant TB patients through 20 additional facilities
In 2016, we helped the Central TB Reference Laboratory to upgrade their accreditation to three stars out of five, compared to two in the year before. This was achieved though in-house training of laboratory staff, improvement of documentation and procedures, and the reorganizing and renovation of the laboratory.
The engagement of the Tanzanian Government was further enhanced by increasing TB awareness among 283 Tanzanian Parliamentarians. This was followed by the launch of the country’s first TB Caucus by a member of the Global TB Caucus, which was signed by all parliamentarians who attended the session. The parliamentarians pledged full commitment and support for TB control in their constituencies. Importantly, the Minister of Health pledged to increase the budget for TB control activities in the next financial year.