What are the challenges of the Tanzanian public health system, a representative country for health planning under resources constraints? Which are the sociopolitical preconditions and how does the situation differ from that found in a resources-rich country like Switzerland? What is the impact of changes in society against a backdrop of limited resources? We will discuss these complex issues with leading experts in the field.
This seminar in Tanzania will focus on the interaction between public health and the sociopolitical system in a country of limited resources, with detailed examples from Tanzania. Our approach will also aim at taking both a holistic and comparative view of medical, social, economic and political factors across systems and cultures and thus, encompassing a transdisciplinary consideration of global health issues. This will enable an analysis of the local Tanzanian situation both in an international and the specific Swiss context.
In interactive classes and small groups, participants will look at different aspects of public health care, tackle questions regarding public versus private roles and responsibilities and address how people with limited resources can integrate into the three phases of ‘become healthy – be healthy – remain healthy’. Key factors and players involved in this challenging situation are medical institutions and funding bodies (e.g. mission stations and developmental aid institutions), Tanzania’s changing society and social system (e.g. extended families being replaced by other forms of family), urbanisation and political stakeholders.
Nearly half of the participants will be Tanzanian students who will take part in the whole seminar. Local guest speakers will facilitate discussions and group work, sharing their experience and giving specific insights into the situation in Tanzania.
The Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), the host of this seminar, is one of the most renowned research, training and service organisations on the African continent. It began in 1949 as a research and training partnership with the Swiss Tropical Institute (now the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute; Swiss TPH) before becoming the Swiss Tropical Institute Field Laboratory in 1956 and an independent Tanzanian trust in 1996, its development supported and aided by a strong partnership with Switzerland. Today, the institute’s work spans a wide range of sciences including biomedical, ecological and health systems research and remains a close partner of Swiss TPH and Switzerland together with many other key partners around the world. The seminar will be led by Professor Marcel Tanner and further enriched by the significant experience of Dr Honorati Masanja, Dr Kafuruki Shubis, Dr Hassan Mshinda and other Tanzanian experts and public health practioners.
Leaders: Professor Marcel Tanner (President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and Director Emeritus of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health), Dr Honorati Masanja (Director IHI), Dr Kafuruki Shubis (Head of Teaching/Training IHI) and Dr Hassan Mshinda (Former Director of the IHI and Director General Emeritus of the Tanzania Commission for Science & Technology and Senior Consultant to the Botnar Foundation)
Coordination: Dr Barbara Dankwa
Administration: Nathalie Ellington
- Preparatory event: Saturday 19 September
- Seminar: Saturday 31 October – Thursday 12 November 2020
Location: Bagamoyo, Tanzania: Bagamoyo Research and Training Centre (BRTC) of the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Accommodation: Travellers Lodge
Working Language: English
Programme: Interactive speeches and presentations on theory by seminar leaders and external experts as well as extensive group work. Excursions to local/regional health and research institutions. Discussions with regional stakeholders. Guided visits to Bagamoyo and Saadani National Park.
Preparatory reading: A reader will be provided in advance. You are expected to obtain a broad overview of the Swiss health system prior to the seminar. Students’ contributions (e.g. paper presentations) will be announced closer to the time.
Participants: max. 15. Only students who did not participate in last year’s seminar in Tanzania are eligible to participate.
Costs: CHF 400 (incl. flights, accommodation, excursions and most meals). In exceptional cases, this fee may be waived.
- Attendance at the preparatory 1-day event in Switzerland is a prerequisite for attending the seminar.
- Please note that living standards in Tanzania are lower than in Switzerland. Participants will be accommodated in a local guest house.
- Participants are responsible for their own medical precautions. Please ensure that you have informed yourself about any necessary steps.
- The seminar is intended to be a study seminar on a key issue, not a tour of the country or an immersion in Tanzanian life (e.g. the guest houses are not representative of how locals live). The main part of the seminar will therefore take place at the training centre and in local health and research institutions. However, the expert knowledge of the seminar leaders, visits and excursions and the contact with attending local students will provide you with a deep insight into the Tanzanian health system and its cultural background.