The government spends less than USD22 on average of what is needed on person’s health, according to fact sheets distributed at the Financing for Development Conference (FFD) here.
Titled ‘Evidence for Action’s Mama Ye! Campaign’ the fact sheets show that the government spending on health is far below what has been recommended for it to offer basic health services.
It shows that the government needs to spend at least US$86 per person in order to provide basic health services.
In 2013, the government only spent US$17 on each person’s health, in 2014 it increased the spending to US$19.3.
Part of the reasons for Tanzania’s low performance according to Mama Ye! fact sheet is that its total government revenue is only 15.8 percent of the GDP.
Currently, Tanzania is one of the only 32 countries in the world with total government revenue below 20 per cent of GDP.
It said that in Tanzania the burden of paying for health falls heavily on households. In Tanzania in 2012, 33 per cent of all health spending in the country was paid by households. This amount (33 per cent) is over the recommended top limit of 20 percent the poorest are likely to be excluded from care or pushed further into poverty by unsustainable payments.
To boost revenue the government of Tanzania is encouraged to collect tax from all eligible tax payers.
It has been estimated that if taxes were increased to full capacity in Tanzania, the government would be able to spend a further USD3 per person on health, increasing per person spending from USD19 to USD22.
This demonstrates the importance of advocacy for stronger tax systems, according to the factsheet.
The Tanzania government has signed up to the Abuja Declaration, committing to spend at least 15 percent of its budget on health.
Between 2006 and 2009, this target was met. However, since 2010, progress has stalled with only around 11 percent of government spending going to health.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has welcomed the Addis Ababa Action Agenda agreed last week during the Financing for Development Conference (FFD) saying its outcome is a boon to millions of girls and women all over the world.
The fund’s Executive Director, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, said the commitment to a new social compact to end poverty and to complete unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) shall benefit millions of women and girls worldwide.
He said with the last week’s action, the world leaders have assured a 10-year-old girl that by the time she is 25, they would have catalysed additional investments in her education, health and rights, so she can fulfill her potential and hold up half the sky in pursuit of development.
Dr Osotimehin added: “These investments can help her get education, including comprehensive sexuality education, and reproductive health, so she can ensure for herself that every pregnancy is wanted and every child birth is safe”.
He said by their action, the leaders have committed to helping reduce the number of women who die or suffer injuries as they give birth to life.
He said the commitment to make critical investments in young people, to educate, employ and empower them can unleash a demographic dividend that can speed up human capital development that accelerates countries’ economic growth and poverty eradication.
Under the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, leaders also agreed that investing in young people is critical to sustainable development, and recognised the need to support countries in making the requisite investments.
Global leaders at the Third FFD conference also agreed to strengthen countries’ capacity for early warning, risk-reduction and management of national and global health risks. That includes substantially increasing health financing and the recruitment and training of health workers in developing countries.