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Industrial Productivity, Health sector performance & policy synergies for inclusive growth: Study in Kenya & Tanzania


This project studies the supply chains of essential medicines and medical equipment and supplies from local industries and imports into the health systems in Tanzania and Kenya. Shortages and unaffordability of essential commodities are known to be persistent causes of poor quality health care and exclusion from care in low-income African countries.  Yet too often, policies for health care and policies for industrialisation are made without reference to each other. 

The central objective of this study, begun in 2012, is to bring industrial and health policies closer together.  We aim to identify opportunities for improved local industrial supply of health-related commodities to strengthen Kenyan and Tanzanian health system performance. Kenya is largest industrial producer within East Africa, and a source of supply of industrial commodities for the health systems of the region. Tanzania also has an industry supplying pharmaceuticals and some other essential items. The comparative study in the two countries aims to share experiences and cross-country learning, while bringing health and industrial policy makers together in each country.

The project began with interviews in the health sector in both countries. A workshop in Dar es Salaam in June 2013 presented initial results to an audience of policy makers and key stakeholders in the industrial and health sectors in both countries.Working papers on health sector supply chains in each country were produced after this stage.

In the next phase of the research, interviews were conducted in the industrial sectors in both countries, to seek to identify specific opportunities for enhanced local manufacturing and supply to the health sectors.  A second workshop in Nairobi in September 2014 took the form of a round table discussion with private sector businesses, policymakers, and health sector managers. Policy briefs and working briefs were presented to the participants, and made publicly available.  A third workshop will be held in Dar es Salaam in November 2014 to discuss project results with Tanzanian business people and policy makers.  We aim to inform both local and international policy processes and debates using our research findings.

This study is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), UK, and the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).  The views expressed in text and publications on this website are those of the project team. Please click here for further details about the project.

Project duration: May 2012 - March 2015

Disclaimer: The funders are not responsible for the web content.