Sustainability in government and faith-based eye health systems in Tanzania

Health Systems - Tanzania

Little is known about the contributions of faith-based organisations to health systems in Africa. In the specialist area of eye health, international and domestic Christian organisations have been important contributors as service providers and donors but they are also commonly critiqued as having developed eye health systems parallel to government structures which are unsustainable. Health systems research approaches can generate new evidence on the social dynamics (relationships, norms, flows of funding, equipment, information and other forms of support) that cross public and private sectors within a local health system which ultimately affect the whole system’s sustainability. This study used a health systems approach to examine the strategies used by eye care practitioners in four hospitals of north-west Tanzania to navigate the government, church mission and donor rules that govern eye services delivery there.

Funding: CBM

Lake Region Eye Care Services Association (LARESA)


JJ Palmer, A Gilbert, M Choy and K Blanchet (2016). Circumventing ‘free care’ and ‘shouting louder’: Using a health systems approach to study eye health system sustainability in government & mission facilities of north-west Tanzania. Health Research, Policy & Systems 14: 68.

Download our report from a workshop held with CBM, LARESA and the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare in 2012 which used the Sustainability Analysis Process to analyse and choose indicators of local eye health system sustainability.
Report from a Sustainability Analysis Workshop located here.
Appendices are located here.

Download a presentation we gave on the project’s findings at the ISGEO annual meeting in 2014.
ISGEO 2014 presentation located here.

Download our final report from this study with recommendations to key actors in the Tanzania Lake Region eye health system. PDF

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