As one of the poorest countries in Africa, Tanzania faces significant health challenges. The public sector cannot reach all corners of the largely rural country. The private sector contributes additional skilled health workers and facilities, thereby increasing access to quality care.
The government of Tanzania has made significant strides in improving the delivery of essential health services, including services for family planning, HIV, and malaria. Despite improvements, there are still substantial health and development challenges. Tanzania’s ability to address these challenges is constrained by the severe shortage of human resources for health.
The country’s high disease burden is coupled with limited public sector resources, leading the government to collaborate with the growing private sector. While the private sector delivers key health services, it could be better leveraged to relieve the pressures on the public sector and contribute more substantively to improving health outcomes.
SHOPS Plus works to increase access to quality care through the private sector. The project addresses the interrelated problems of inadequate access to quality health services, the lack of qualified health professionals, and challenges in health financing. The overall objective is to increase the use of priority health services through the strategic expansion of private sector approaches in the health system. SHOPS Plus builds private providers’ capacity to improve and sustain the delivery of high quality priority health services, and works to strengthen the sustainability of Tanzania’s accredited drug dispensing outlets. SHOPS Plus also facilitates private providers’ access to finance, so that they can expand or improve their services.