A smiling African woman holds a young child on her right shoulder.

Elevating Healthcare in Tanzania

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For nearly two decades, Abbott and its foundation, the Abbott Fund, have partnered with the Government of Tanzania to find lasting solutions to critical healthcare challenges.

 
Abbott, the Abbott Fund and the Government of Tanzania are working to improve healthcare across the country.

With more than $130 million invested to date, and 65,000 hours of support from Abbott experts, this unique public-private partnership is strengthening the country’s health system and improving care for people across the country. Efforts focus on three areas:

1. Upgrading patient care

 
Skilled doctors and nurses at the new emergency room in Tanzania saved a young boy's life.

With little access to doctors, acute care has always been a critical need in the developing world. But modern facilities for emergency care are almost nonexistent – patients can wait hours for the most basic life-saving care. Today, Muhimbili National Hospital is home to the first true emergency room (ER) and the first emergency medicine residency training program in East Africa. This ER provides critically needed care for 60,000 people each year. The number of deaths at the hospital dropped by 40 percent, saving thousands of lives every year.

For people managing life-long challenges such as diabetes and HIV, a modern outpatient center at the hospital serves more than 1,000 patients a day.

2. Modernizing labs and tech

 
Modernizing labs and expanding access to IT to help physicians treat patients at Muhimbili National Hospital and 23 regional hospitals nationwide.

Today, one of East Africa’s most sophisticated diagnostics centers processes more than 1.5 million tests per year. And new labs at 23 regional hospitals extend modern testing to every corner of Tanzania. Before, it might take weeks and long travel days to get lab results. Today it takes just hours – which means better treatment, faster.

In addition, hospital labs are linked through the country’s first nationwide IT network, building capacity for sharing test results and best practices across the country. At the national hospital, a sophisticated hospital IT system tracks inventory, prescriptions and patient histories.

More than 70 Abbott lab scientists have provided extensive training and mentoring for lab teams across Tanzania. Together with additional specialists in engineering, IT and healthcare, Abbott experts have provided more than 65,000 hours of on-the-ground support.

3. Ensuring improvements are sustainable

Every aspect of the partnership aims for lasting change, focusing on training local teams on testing, treatment and care, as well as upgrading hospital management and "back office" functions like IT and inventory control. Altogether, 20,000 trainings have been conducted for health workers and administrators.

The improvements in patient care are working. As the reputation of Tanzania’s medical care improves, more insured patients are choosing public hospitals over private. In the past, government hospitals were not effective at collecting this potential revenue. Today, new healthcare financing models are helping the national hospital to continue providing best-in-class care for all people, while charging fair prices to insured patients. And independent business units with separate finance and auditing systems manage revenue and costs.

Today, the ER generates a profit, which is reinvested to further strengthen hospital operations – providing a new model for financial sustainability in public health.

To learn more about this unique public-private partnership, read the Overview Fact Sheet.

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