Master's Culminating Experience
Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate Tanzanian health policy regarding the protection and promotion of breastfeeding.
Country Profile: Tanzania is a United Republic composed of the mainland and also the islands of Zanzibar. Tanzania is located in east Africa with a population of approximately 46 million. About 1.6 million babies are born each year in Tanzania, however only approximately 140,000 are registered annually. Tanzania’s infant mortality rate is 68 infant deaths per 1000 live births. Tanzania makes up for approximately 0.5% of the world population but 2% of the global infant death.
Approaches: In this study, the assessment of current legislation and health policy currently in place protecting breastfeeding practices was performed primarily. Secondary was the exploration of current breastfeeding interventions and practices performed in Tanzania, Africa. Conclusion: For Tanzania, pressing factors influencing low prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding consists of lack of trained healthcare workforce; lack of enforcement of training; and cultural beliefs and norms. Thus projecting future policy that takes cultural norms into consideration is highly important for Tanzania. Recommendations for Tanzania include- assessment of the informal organizational structure of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare; examination of information flows and breakdowns within the Ministry of Health’s pyramid structure; development of future Health Policy based more on the current state of health systems infrastructure; incorporation of cultural norms, values, and beliefs regarding exclusive breastfeeding into policy constructing.
Thompson, T. (2014). Complexity of Breastfeeding Health Policy in Tanzania, Africa. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio