Tanzania Nurses and Midwives

Thanks to the new task-shifting tool and official job descriptions, Tanzanian nurses and midwives like these at Kambarage Health Center in Shinyanga Region now fully understand their scope of practice across a variety of settings and have been empowered to better support their patients.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, June 7, 2016 — Patients at healthcare facilities across Tanzania are set to receive better care from nurses and midwives thanks to the development of a new mechanism that will assign critical tasks to nurses and midwives based on their levels of training, competence, and experience.

The Division of Nursing and Midwifery Services (DNMS) at Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC) kicked off a three-week workshop on May 30 to finalize job descriptions for nurses and midwives in the country. This national document will ensure more equitable distribution of nurses and midwives and improve ways supervisors and employers can better support and evaluate their performance.

“This tool will assist the Ministry in assessing specific job risks and workload when planning for wages and compensation for nurses and midwives,” says Mr. Gustav Moyo, Director of the newly established DNMS. “It will improve management of human resources for health as it clearly sets criteria for assessment, continuous professional development, job requisition, and performance evaluation.”
Implementation of the new job descriptions will support continuous professional development of nurses and midwives by setting a benchmark for required competencies. This will also provide a more realistic picture of human resource needs at every stage spanning the continuum of care.

Earlier this year, Tanzania’s MOHCGEC developed a task sharing policy designed to address the country’s severe shortage of health workers and improve access to care closer to where people live. This policy allows frontline health and social service providers, such as nurses, midwives, social workers, and community health workers to provide vital services by sharing tasks beyond their scope of practice, particularly in rural and underserved parts of the country. It also allows Tanzania to improve access to critical health services and work toward elimination of public health threats, including HIV/AIDS, yet operationalization of the policy is unlikely to bear fruit unless the newly expanded roles and responsibilities of nurses and midwives are incorporated into their official job descriptions.

DNMS is developing this document with technical assistance provided by the Tanzania Nursing Initiative (TNI), a national inter-agency project managed by the American International Health Alliance (AIHA). Once finalized, the task-shifting tool and job descriptions will be reviewed by President’s Office Public Service Management Department prior to implementation.

Through TNI, AIHA has been working to strengthen the nursing profession in Tanzania since 2005. TNI partners include the Tanzania Nurses and Midwifery Council (TNMC), the MOHCDGEC Division of Nursing and Midwifery Services and Nursing Training Unit, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences School of Nursing, and U.S. technical experts at Winona State University and World Services of LaCrosse, Inc. TNI is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Tanzania.

For more information, please contact:

Sally Chalamila
Country Director, HIV/AIDS Twinning Center
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel. +255 22 266 7032