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Improving maternal, child and adolescent health in Tanzania

Fondation Botnar supports Afya-Tek, an initiative in Tanzania dedicated to enhancing the quality and coordination of care, and the use of data across the public and private health system by digitally linking three key providers: community health workers,  Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs)  and primary health facilities.


Tanzania is among the poorest nations in the world. With its healthcare system experiencing a limited allocation of resources, more than 600,000 preventable deaths for under-five year olds, 1.2 million unintended pregnancies (including 26% of adolescent girls aged 15-19), and 9,000 preventable maternal deaths are experienced each year (Tanzania DHS 2015). 

While community health workers, health facilities, and Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) already support individual and family health at the community level, there are few formal linkages between them. ADDOs and community health workers also have limited access to ongoing health training and opportunities for the  exchange of critical learning and knowledge. 

Tanzania started to apply digital technology to healthcare in the 1990s, aiming to digitise the country’s health management system. While some great successes have been achieved, there is still room for scaling up and improving coordination.

  • Tanzania
  • Kibaha District Council
  • Kibaha Town Council


Digital technologies and their application to healthcare have the potential to improve efficiency, lower overall costs, and streamline the workload of healthcare professionals. Digitising the flow of information can increase the coordination between different levels and providers in the continuum. This can then bring preventive and curative care closer to communities, strengthening the overall health system in Tanzania.

Afya-Tek aims to improve the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families in the Pwani region in Tanzania through digitally enabled care. The initiative is the first of its kind to harness emerging digital tools to better connect health system actors, and to utilise predictive analytics and biometric identification.

Over 255,000 individuals registered

Since its inception, Afya-Tek has registered over 255,000 individuals, significantly improving access to healthcare in Tanzania. With nearly 500 system users trained and 100,000 private drug shop visits recorded, the programme has seen referral completion rates soar to 90%—three times higher than typical health programmes. Notably, almost 28,000 adolescents have benefited from the programme, highlighting its pivotal role in enhancing adolescent health outcomes.


“My parents didn’t want me to use contraceptives because they thought I would get involved in sex. But I wanted to use it because I need to take care of myself. I talked to Mama Lucy, our neighbour who works with Afya-Tek. She gave me advice about reproductive health and told me that she now uses a smartphone, so I can easily access the service. She connected me to the system, making it easy for me to get reproductive health services when I needed them. Sometimes, I go straight to her when I need help” 

Lignesi Siwani Chusi, March 2024
Afya-Tek: Pushing for access to quality healthcare for all
Blog post
#HealthierTogether film in collaboration with WHO Fondation and BBC StoryWorks

Images: D-Tree

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For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74