Properly implemented e-health holds tremendous potential to improve the lives of people in Tanzania, and this is best achieved through understanding the mechanics and lessons of previous attempts to realise it. This paper aims to share insights from several Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) partners on how to design and implement e-health interventions for scale and sustainability with a focus on putting the user at the centre, i.e. considering both the creation of user-friendly platforms and digital literacy.
Jamii ni Afya Progam and mLabour have both led recent e-health project implementations in Tanzania, rolling out interventions from SMS messaging platforms through to full-spectrum e-health decision support and work tools for community health volunteers and health-care workers. Each of these particular aspects and identifying barriers and, in some cases, eventual solutions.
Common across the projects was the design with existing government systems as part of the programme design, so that they could later be scaled. Combined, over the 2016–2020 period, D-tree and Dimagi interventions have brought maternal and child health services to thousands of women across rural and urban areas of Tanzania and Zanzibar.