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Ministry of Health


Posted on: July 22nd, 2024

The following are the primary functions of RCHS:

  1. To formulate standards, policy guidelines and manuals for quality and sustainable maternal, newborn, child, adolescent and community health services, taking into account the gender and rights based approach;
  2. To coordinate, monitor and evaluate adolescent, maternal and child health care including family planning and immunization in an integrated manner;
  3. To develop capacity at central, zonal, regional and council levels to plan, manage and implement RCH services;
  4. To liaise with other ministries and relevant organizations dealing with nutrition for reproductive and child health;
  5. To review the list of standard essential equipment, medicines and supplies for provision of quality reproductive health care;
  6. To plan, procure and distribute reproductive health commodities including those for family planning at the council level countrywide;
  7. To coordinate development of research agenda for reproductive and child health services, conduct and disseminate the findings;
  8. To mobilize resources for implementation of all reproductive, newborn and child health services;
  9. To coordinate trainings related to reproductive and child health including immunization components by ensuring that the trainings are conducted in accordance with national guidelines and standards.


RCHS Programs


Below is a full list of the RCHS Programs/units (to be linked to detailed information about the programs/units).

Family Planning

Family planning is a major component of reproductive and child health services. The goal of the Family Planning Program is contribute to improved sexual and reproductive health, social and economic well being of women, men, adolescents and children including newborns, through provision of quality family planning services.

Objectives of the program are as follows:

  1. To ensure availability of adequate contraceptive commodities and functioning logistics system;
  2. To ensure that service providers in the health sector have the necessary family planning (FP) clinical skills for effective delivery of integrated family planning services;
  3. To increase the visibility and support for FP among government leaders and development partners, program managers, service providers, and raise community awareness;
  4. To increase access and utilization of quality, affordable and sustainable family planning services;
  5. To strengthen family planning management systems and monitoring and evaluation, to ensure effective program implementation.

Safe Motherhood Initiative

Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) is a global effort to reduce the number of morbidity and mortality associated with pregnancy and child birth.  In Tanzania, the program aims to improve maternal and newborn outcomes in pregnancy, child birth and in post partum period.

When the initiative was adopted in the country in 1989, the global burden of maternal deaths was estimated at 600,000 per year. Even though the number has since reduced to 287,000 in 2010 from 342,000 in 2008, the deaths remain highest in under-resourced countries especially in the sub-Saharan Africa Region where 99% of the deaths occur. Read More

Adolescent Reproductive Health

The Adolescent Reproductive Health Program was established in 1994 with an aim to improve the reproductive health of all adolescents in Tanzania. The program envisions healthy adolescents living in an environment that enables them to access quality reproductive health information, services and life skills for the achievement of their full potential.  Read More

Newborn and Child Health Services

Newborn and child health are key priorities to the Government of Tanzania. Considerable progress has been realized in reducing child mortality over the years. Under-five mortality rate has dropped over the past decade from 112 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 81 in 2010. Infant mortality rate has also decreased from 68 to 51 deaths per 1,000 live births over the same period.Read More

Reproductive Health Cancers

Cancer is a major public health problem in Tanzania. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there were approximately 21,000 new cancer patients in Tanzania by 2002. About 32.5% of all deaths due to cancer occur among people below 60 years of age. For women in this age group, cancer is responsible for about 43% of deaths. Delay in diagnosis is a substantial problem for cancer patients in Tanzania and the majority of them die during the first year after being diagnosed.Read More

Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children
A World Health Organization multi-country study (2005) on women's health and domestic violence reported that in Tanzania, ever-partnered women's lifetime prevalence of physical violence by an intimate partner was between 13% and 61%; the range of sexual violence by an intimate partner was between 6% and 59%; and for both sexual and physical violence was between 15% and 71%. Read More

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV

The Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) program has been implemented in Tanzania since 2000.The goal is to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep both the mother and child alive through improved maternal, newborn and child health care. Read More

Immunization and Vaccine Development

The Immunization and Vaccine Development (EVD) Program, previously known as Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) was established in 1975 with the primary objective of contributing to the reduction of infant and under-five morbidity and mortality. Guided by various national health priorities outlined in the Health Strategic Plan III (2009 – 2015) and other national, regional and global commitments for health including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Read More

Management Information Systems and Research Unit

Monitoring and evaluation are crossing-cutting complimentary strategies in delivery of virtually all the reproductive and child health interventions. The responsibility of the Management Information Systems and Research Unit is to coordinate all monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities of the RCHS. Read More