Global Resources

Fair's Fair: Health Inequalities and Equity in Tanzania

Author: P. Smithson
Publication Date: Nov 2006
This report seeks to raise awareness and understanding of the scale and nature of health inequalities in Tanzania with the intention of stimulating policy debate and action. It is aimed at senior managers and policy makers in the health sector as well as researchers, academics, civil society organisations and donors. The report examines differences in health outcomes and health care among different socio-economic groups in Tanzania, as well as across different parts of the country. It also considers why some groups - particularly those in rural areas - face greater inequalities than others. Lower take-up of health care facilities by poorer people may be due to the costs of healthcare (including transport and opportunity costs) and the fact that poorer people tend to live further away from health care facilities. These factors are often exacerbated by social and cultural barriers which disproportionately affect women. For example, women may have to get permission from male relatives to attend clinics. Many of the female respondents also expressed concern about travelling to health facilities alone. The overall shortage of skilled health personnel is identified as one of the biggest obstacles to equitable health care in Tanzania. To address this, an incentive package to redress the mal-distribution of skilled human resources is recommended.