TANZANIA—The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Ireland have agreed to initiate a groundbreaking project aimed at enhancing ongoing efforts to fortify the resilience of health systems in Tanzania to respond effectively to emergencies.

This new project, titled “Strengthening Health Systems Resilience for Enhanced Health Emergency Response at the Sub-national Level in the United Republic of Tanzania,” is valued at 200,000 euros.

The project will be executed in seven regions, namely Tanga, Kigoma, Dodoma, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, and two other high-risk regions.

The primary objective of the project is to reinforce the capacity of healthcare systems, particularly at the subnational level, to respond effectively to health emergencies.

It addresses global challenges such as emerging diseases, the impacts of climate change, and natural disasters that pose threats to healthcare systems.

During the agreement signing ceremony, Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses, WHO Representative to Tanzania, emphasized the increasing necessity to enhance the health system’s resilience at the subnational level in light of evolving health threats and emergencies.

He expressed gratitude to the Government of Ireland for partnering with WHO to support Tanzania’s efforts in staying prepared and responding effectively to health emergencies.

Dr. Charles Sagoe-Moses noted that the Government of Tanzania has made significant strides in bolstering the resilience of the health systems over the last two decades, but health emergencies are increasingly jeopardizing these achievements.

He underscored the importance of the partnership with Ireland, noting that health is a vast and incredibly important sector and that he was pleased about this collaboration, which will have a positive impact on the lives of the people of Tanzania.

The Irish Ambassador to Tanzania, H.E. Marry O’Neill, expressed the Irish Government’s pleasure in collaborating with WHO at both the national and subnational levels to address the key public health priorities of the Government of Tanzania.

She stated that this initiative will strengthen healthcare systems and ensure timely and effective responses to health emergencies.

According to her, health security requires constant readiness for both known and unknown challenges, and partnering with WHO to build the country’s resilience is a great privilege.

Tanzania has experienced localized outbreaks, including cholera and the Marburg virus, necessitating improved resilience, especially at the sub-national level.

This is not the first initiative by the World Health Organization’s Emergency Preparedness and Response program, which aims to support the multisectoral convergence of resources and expertise for an expedient and effective response to a disaster.

The WHO launched the Emergency Preparedness and Response Flagship Projects in July 2022 to ensure health security in the African region.

The initiative builds on pre-existing infrastructure to establish a well-functioning partner support system that supplements national capacity when necessary, integrating knowledge gained from COVID-19, Ebola, and other health emergencies.

The three flagship initiatives are Strengthening and Utilizing Response Groups for Emergencies (SURGE), Transforming African Surveillance Systems (TASS) Flagship Project, and Promoting Resilience of Systems for Emergencies (PROSE) Flagship Project.

To minimize the effects of disasters or disease outbreaks, these projects at the time sought to build teams of highly skilled, resourced, and well-coordinated professionals who could respond quickly—within 72 hours—to the affected areas.

WHO works closely with the Tanzanian government to strengthen the country’s health system and enhance its capacity for emergency preparedness and response.

The initiative will be managed by WHO and implemented over 12 months in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders.

This partnership underscores the commitment to building a robust healthcare infrastructure that can effectively address the dynamic challenges posed by health emergencies.