Strengthening skills of the next generation of private providers

Nursing students standing around a table listening to teacher.
Massana nursing students with their teacher and clinical instructor (trained by SHOPS Plus) discussing components of reproductive and child health clinic cards during a rotation at PRINMAT Bagamoyo. | Credit: Festo Komba

For the first time, a group of 40 nursing and midwifery students from private medical training institutes in the Dar es Salaam area received practical clinical experience at private medical facilities thanks to a pilot designed by SHOPS Plus. 

The pilot, which ran from June to September 2018, was part of a SHOPS Plus and Association of Private Health Colleges initiative designed to strengthen human resources for health in Tanzania.  

In the pilot, students rotated to learning sites at health facilities affiliated with the Private Nurses and Midwives Association, the Christian Social Services Commission, Masanna Hospital, and Hubert Kairuki Hospital, where they will learn about integrated HIV care, family planning, antenatal care, and primary health care. The aim is to improve the technical skills of nurses and midwives in the private sector.

Written examinations taken by students before and after the pilot showed a 9 percent increase in knowledge regarding HIV services, and a 22 percent increase in knowledge of family planning, maternal and child health, and HIV services.

The students are in the Dar es Salaam area in Tanzania.
PRINMAT Bagamoyo is one of the practicum sites for the students | Credit: Festo Komba

One of the greatest challenges to improving the delivery of essential health services in Tanzania, including services for malaria, family planning, and HIV/AIDS, is the shortage of trained health workers. Historically, students studying at private medical training institutes have had to rely on securing practicum opportunities within public health facilities, but these are limited and costly. 

The pilot will help inform future training programs developed by the Directorate of Nursing Services in Tanzania, specifically involving private-to-private practicum rotation as a means to improve the quality of HIV service delivery by private providers through improved and critical hands-on experience. 

Photo of nursing students
Nursing students doing their rotation at Cardinal Rugambwa Hospital in Dar es Salaam. | Credit: Festo Komba

In addition to the pilot, SHOPS Plus also contributed to new national guidelines and training curricula developed by the Ministry of Health’s Director of Nursing. These new guidelines are part of a national initiative to improve hands on practical experience for nursing and midwifery students. 


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Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.

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