Industrial productivity, health sector performance and policy synergies for inclusive growth in Tanzania and Kenya

Project overview

Project lead: Maureen Mackintosh, Open University

Start date: 1 June 2012

End date: 31 March 2015

Project webpage

Research Council project page

Shortages and the high cost of health-related commodities are persistent causes of exclusionary and poor quality health care in low-income Africa. This project studied the supply chains of essential medicines, medical equipment and supplies from local industries, and imports into the health systems in Tanzania and Kenya.

The research hypothesis was that better integration between industrial and health policies could contribute to higher employment, industrial upgrading, and improved health system performance and accessibility. If this is correct, improved industrial production – higher productivity, more appropriate and cheaper products, and innovative production methods – could improve health service performance while raising economic output: in other words, contribute to inclusive growth.

The project interviewed health facilities, shops and wholesalers in all sectors, in urban and rural contexts, about their procurement practices and problems. Mapping of supply chains was followed by data collection at firm-level. Private sector businesses, health sector managers and policymakers debated the scope for more integrated policymaking.