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Explaining progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4 for child survival in Tanzania
Authors: Debora Niyeha, Deogratius Malamsha, Rose Mpembeni, Debora Charwe, Saul Epimark, Khadija Malima, Akum Aveika, Tricia Aung, Elizabeth Hazel, Yvonne Tam, and Rebecca Heidkamp
Source: Journal of Global Health, 8(2): 021201; DOI: 10.7189/jogh.08.021201
Topic(s): Childhood mortality
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2018
Abstract: Background During the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era (1990-2015) the government in Mainland Tanzania and partners launched numerous initiatives to advance child survival including the comprehensive One Plan for Maternal Newborn and Child Health in 2008-2015 and a “sharpened” One Plan strategy in early 2014. Moving into the Sustainable Development Goal era, the government needs to learn from successes and challenges of striving towards MDG 4. Methods We expand previous work by presenting data for the full MDG period and sub-national results. We used data from six nationally- representative household surveys conducted between 1999 and 2015 to examine trends in coverage of 22 lifesaving maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition (MNCH&N) interventions, nutritional status (stunting; wasting) and breastfeeding practice across Mainland Tanzania and sub-nationally in seven standardized geographic zones. We used the Lives Saved Tool (LiST) to model the relative contribution of included interventions which saved under 5 lives during the period from 2000-2015 compared to 1999 on a national level and within the seven zones. Findings Child survival and nutritional status improved across Mainland Tanzania and in each of the seven zones across the 15-year period. MNCH&N intervention coverage varied widely and across zones with several key interventions declining across Mainland Tanzania or in specific geographical zones during all or part the period. According to our national LiST model, scale-up of 22 MNCH&N interventions – together with improvements in breastfeeding practice, stunting and wasting – saved 838 460 child lives nationally between 2000 and 2015. Conclusions Mainland Tanzania has made significant progress in child survival and nutritional outcomes but progress cannot be completely explained by changes in intervention coverage alone. Further examination of the implementation and contextual factors shaping these trends is important to accelerate progress in the SDG era.