By Esther Karin Mngodo
Dar es Salaam. It is a known fact, access to quality health centre is a challenge in most regions in Tanzania. That is why mobile tools such as the health locator, created by Code4Africa, are important and useful in helping wananchi find health centres near them. Sadly, there are some regions that are worse than others. Here are five regions in Tanzania where you wouldn’t want to be sick. Four among these are newly established Regions.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children (MCDGC), it shows that there were 7,071 health facilities, 5,915 dispensaries, 717 health centres, 176 clinics and 263 hospitals in 2014.
Mpanda District Hospital is the only hospital in Katavi. This is just one per cent of all health facilities in the region. Data show that there are 77 health facilities in the region that cater for a population of 523, 293 people (Census 2012).
Among these, there are 63 dispensaries, 13 health centres and 1 hospital. Katavi Region was founded in 2012. It was initially part of Rukwa Region. There is no clinic in Katavi.
The new Region has 46 HIV care and treatment centers, which is only 1.7 per cent of the 2,672 similar centres in the country.
When we compare Katavi with Mbeya Region, we see a huge difference. With a total of 471 health facilities (6.7 per cent), Mbeya is the region with the most number of health facilities in the country. Mbeya is also leading in having the most number of HIV care and treatment centers with a total of 317 of such centres (11.8 per cent).
Statistics show that Malaria is the leading cause of death among children and adults in Katavi. In 2013, Malaria was the cause of death for 32 percent of deaths among children under the age of five. It was also responsible for 27 percent of deaths among those above five years of age.
Furthermore, statistics show that in 2014, Malaria and Pneumonia were the leading cause for children under the age of five to be hospitilised. As for patients older than five, Malaria caused 48 percent of deaths.
Statistics show that 45 percent of under fives patients that were treated at a health facility in 2014 had Malaria. Moreover, it was 47 per cent of inpatients who were older than the age of five.
Data show that the skilled health worker to patient ratio (2014) in Katavi is 2:2. All five regions have more medical attendants than any other health professionals, whereby, there are 140 in Katavi. Also, the region has 66 nurses, 31 clinical officers, and 7 doctors among other health practitioners. Katavi does not have a nutrition officer.
Geita Region was founded in 2012. It was previously a part of Kagera, Mwanza and Shinyanga Regions. There are 143 health facilities in Geita, that serve a population of 1.6 million people (Census 2012). This is less than 10 percent of all health facilities in the country. The region has 121 dispensaries, 19 health centres, and 3 hospitals. There are no clinics in Geita. Meanwhile, there are 53 HIV care and treatment centre, which is equivalent to 2 percent of all centre of such kind in the country, according to 2014 statistics.
Just as it is with Katavi region, data provided in 2013 indicate that Malaria was the leading cause of death in Geita for children under the age of five, and for persons over the age of five, whereby Malaria caused 45 per cent of deaths in each group.
Malaria also caused 60 percent of inpatient diagnosis for children under the age of five (2014) and 54 per cent of the same group. Meanwhile, 51 per cent of inpatient diagnosis for persons above the age of five (2014) and 53 percent of outpatient diagnosis of the same group were caused by Malaria.
Furthermore, the skilled health worker to patient ratio (2014) in Geita is 2:8, whereby there are 15 doctors (2 percent), 283 nurses (29 percent), 134 clinical officers (14 percent), 6 nursing officers and other health practitioners. Like Katavi, Geita does not have a nutrition officer.
This region was founded in 2002. According to the 2012 Census report, there are 1.3 million people in Manyara. There are 190 health facilities here, which is less than 10 percent of all health facilities in the country. Among these, 156 are dispensaries, 22 health centres, 10 hospitals and 2 clinics. Manyara region also has 87 HIV care and treatment centre (3.3 percent).
A 2013 report shows that 46 percent of under five deaths are caused ‘other’ unspecified causes and 37 percent of deaths of persons above the age of five while Malaria causes 19 percent of deaths and 14 percent respectively.
However, data collected in 2014 indicate that Malaria is the cause of 63 percent of inpatient diagnosis among persons under five years of age. Malaria is also the leading outpatient diagnosis among this age group (27 percent). As for persons above the age of five, 36 percent of outpatients have skin infections, and 21 percent have Malaria.
The skilled health worker to patient ratio (2014) in Manyara is 5. There are 37 doctors, 459 nurses, 176 clinical officers, 2 nutrition officers among other health practitioners.
There are 199 health facilities in Shinyanga Region where 1,429,342 people live (Census 2012). Among these centres, 175 are dispensaries, 17 health centres, 5 hospitals and 2 clinics. Shinyanga region also has 91 HIV care and treatment centre (3.3 percent). Like the other three regions, Malaria is the leading cause of death for under fives (66 percent) in Shinyanga; and leading cause of deaths of persons above five (48 percent), according to 2013 statistics. In 2014, Malaria was also the leading inpatient diagnosis for under fives and over fives (66 and 49 percent respectively). Malaria had the same trend for outpatient diagnosis for under fives and above fives (50 percent and 48 percent respectively).
In Shinyanga, the skilled health worker to patient ratio (2014) is 4:4. There is only one nutrition officer, 15 doctors, 431 nurses, 162 clinical officers, among other health practitioners. Simiyu Region Simiyu Region was also founded in 2012. It was previously part of the eastern side of Singida Region. There are 204 health facilities in this region that are used by 1,469,776 people (Census 2012). Among these facilities, there are 182 dispensaries, 14 health centres, 5 hospitals, and 3 clinics. The region has 34 HIV care and treatment centers (1.2 percent).
Unlike most of the other regions, Anaemia is the leading cause of death for under fives (36 percent, 2013) in Simiyu. It causes deaths of under fives by 19 percent. A 2014 statistics show that Malaria is behind 58 percent of inpatient diagnosis among under fives and 49 percent of inpatient diagnosis among persons above the age of five. Furthermore, Malaria was also the cause of 40 percent of outpatient diagnosis among under fives and 45 percent of outpatients above the age of five. The skilled health worker to patient ratio (2014) is 2:5. There are 11 doctors, 223 nurses, 104 clinical officers, among other health practitioners. Unfortunately, there is no nutrition officer in Simiyu region.