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Comic Relief and GSK
Policy brief

Integrated data collection from the private sector and social behaviour change interventions

Lessons from Partnership projects in Tanzania

Policy brief

There is evidence that around 30% of households in Tanzania access healthcare services for acute illnesses from the 9,000 Accredited Drug Dispensing Outlets (ADDOs) scattered across the country

Autonomous private laboratories (Auto Labs) account for more than 40% of all labs in the country. ADDOs, and Auto Labs, therefore, (together with school health programmes and Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) activities) are significant sources of health data. Nevertheless, health data from these sources are not formally collected as part of the National Health Management Information System (HMIS).

Given the importance of quality health data for national and sub-national decision making, this omission is critical, and requires sustainable solutions, quickly. Outcomes of 6 malaria projects implemented in 12 regions of Tanzania provide empirical evidence that this omission could be overcome by a national-wide roll-out of the already tested Private Sector Integrated Surveillance System (ISS). ISS is a cost-effective and user-friendly web-based system. Crucially, it is compatible with the District Health Information System (DHIS2) and can be used via mobile.

The ISS has been successfully piloted by 4,158 entities including 3,420 ADDOs, 82 Auto Labs, 500 schools and 156 communities, 67% of which are supported through the 4 ‘Fighting Malaria, Improving Health’ projects in Tanzania: Association of Private Health Facilities in Tanzania (APHFTA); Clinton Health Access Initiatives (CHAI); Tanzania Communication and Development Center (TCDC); and T-MARC Tanzania. This policy brief documents the evidence and recommendations for the ISS roll out.


The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) is so pleased with innovation that is Comic Relief and GlaxoSmithKline (CR & GSK) grantees have come up with a designed intergrated surveillance system …. The product is well aligned with the NMCP’s current strategy as it has upgraded surveillance to become a core intervention together with malaria case management and vector control. Previously, surveillance system was recognized as supporting intervention.
Dr. Samwel Nhinga, NMCP Deputy Programme Manager, National Stakeholders Buy-In Meeting Held In Dar Es Salaam on 21st February 2020.

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Comic Relief is the operating name of Charity Projects, a registered charity in England and Wales (326568) and Scotland (SC039730), which is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (01806414). Registered address: 1st Floor, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP.