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Supporting mothers and children in Tanzania with our inaugural programme

In our inaugural programme, we partnered with the World Bank and the Government of Tanzania to respond to persistently high levels of child stunting and maternal mortality rates in the country. Interventions were designed to improve maternal, neonatal and child health services nationwide.


  • UK Aid
  • CIFF
  • World Bank
  • Government of Tanzania


  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health & Wellbeing
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals






2016 - 2021

Prior to The Power of Nutrition and the World Bank’s programme in Tanzania, the country was experiencing strong economic growth and relative stability. However, 90% of the population were still living on less than $3 a day in 2012. Despite efforts by the Tanzanian government to improve people's quality of life, the country’s health outcomes were still lower than expected. For example, the maternal mortality ratio remained high at 556 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015/6, against a backdrop of few newborn deliveries in facilities and limited family planning services. Likewise, stunting, where a child is too short for their age as a result of undernutrition, remained persistently high with one in three (34%) children under five stunted.

Our programme

The programme in Tanzania was our first partnership and investment. Together with the World Bank and the Government of Tanzania, we designed a programme to respond to these challenges. We mobilised resources from our platform donors, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and UK Aid, to increase the size of the programme, ensuring that nutrition interventions were prioritised to achieve a greater impact.

The programme worked to improve the access and quality of healthcare services with a focus on maternal, neonatal and child health. It did this by ensuring adequate and transparent funding was allocated whilst also improving the availability of essential medicines and generally the quality of care in facilities throughout the country.

Programme interventions

Maternal support

Increasing the reach of priority maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition services to communities through community health workers and awareness campaigns.

Improving health facilities

Ensuring that the targeted health facilities are meeting basic emergency obstetric and neonatal care requirements.

Governance and accountability

Introducing new governance and accountability mechanisms to help tackle key issues in the health and nutrition commodities’ supply chain.

System strengthening

Increasing the number of health workers and strengthening the capacity of these workers to provide the overall quality of health and nutrition services.

Quality assurance

Working to ensure that quality improvements are implemented for inventory management.


Progress to date


women and children reached


children vaccinated


children treated

Programme achievements

The programme contributed to a significant increase in the number of mothers and children who were able to access improved maternal, neonatal and child healthcare. By the end of the programme, 100% of children aged 12-59 months received at least one dose of vitamin A, up from just 51% in 2015. 37 million people received essential health, nutrition and population services; 11 million children were immunised, 20 million women and children received basic nutrition services and seven million deliveries were attended by skilled health personnel.

The programme also supported the refurbishment of 304 facilities providing maternal, neonatal and child health services, deployed 5,000 staff to these facilities and provided training in emergency obstetric and neonatal care which expanded the capacity to provide this kind of care to the population.

As well as its defined objectives, the programme contributed to other positive health outcomes. For example, during the programme period, the percentage of women of reproductive age using modern family planning methods increased from 37% to 42% between 2015 and 2020.

Next steps

Recent figures (as of 2022) show that stunting rates in Tanzania have indeed decreased since the programme began in 2016, with 30% of children under five stunted. Although this is a decrease of 4% in six years, more still needs to be done to support women and children in accessing nutritional products. Collaborative and impactful programming stands a good chance of continuing the positive outcomes seen by this programme, thereby contributing to a continuation in this downward trend in stunting levels in Tanzania.