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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Changing policies and their influence on government health workers in Tanzania, 1967-2009: perspectives from rural Mbulu district
Editor:Bech, Margunn M.
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:health policy
public health
health personnel
Abstract:Tanzania has experienced fundamental policy shifts during the last forty to fifty years. This article explores the public health services in Tanzania mainland from 1967 to 2009, based on interviews with health workers from the rural Mbulu district. The authors address questions as to how shifting policies influenced government health workers in their daily work and how they perceived and responded to the policies. During the socialist period, basic working conditions were provided. Medicines and equipment were available, and until 1978 it was possible to live on a government salary without supplemented income. The 1978/1979 Ugandan war marked the beginning of the end of socialism, and after president Nyerere stepped down in 1985 there was a policy change to privatization and neoliberalism. The late 1970s until late 1990s were a period of ever-worsening working conditions in the health sector. In the course of these two decades it became almost impossible to provide essential medical and health services to the public. After 2000, with neoliberalist policies still continuing, working conditions started to improve. Basic provisions were again maintained in Tanzania's public health sector, but despite salary increases, in 2009 it was still not possible for health workers to live only on government wages. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]