The Role of Leadership in Management of Maternal Health Service in Kagera Region, Tanzania

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.05.04.Art044

Authors : James Barongo Bashweka


This paper is about the role of leadership for effective management of maternal health in Kagera Region Tanzania. Maternal health leadership is a very important component in the entire Maternal and child health (MCH) Programme and its smooth running depend on leadership capacities in management of services. In Kagera region it was claimed that leadership gaps contribute to low user rate of maternal health services that lead to high maternal mortality. However, its role in management, success and challenges in the overall programme has not been explored. Therefore, this paper is detailing about findings on what extent to which leadership is responsible for ensuring effective maternal health delivery.

Method: Study design was an exploratory qualitative approach that employed in-depth interviews. Interviews involved formal health leaders who are involved in maternal health services including: Regional Health Management (RHMT) members and Council Health Managing Team (CHMT) members who were considered to be information rich cases. Ethical consideration was attained through approval from Texila American University and seeking permission from Tanzania Government authority. Participation was voluntary whereby informed consent from participants was sought and adherence to confidentiality.

Result: Coding and analysis of results on self-competencies revealed Professionalism, Ethic, Self-reflection, critical thinking, developing others through teaching, developing others through mentoring, interdisciplinary team building and negotiation. Leadership competences in relation to wider community revealed; working with community, working with systems, policy adherence and policy advocacy. It was found out that respondents have high level of understanding in working with community, policy adherence and working with system. However, it was observed that; respondents lacked awareness and recognition, ethics, self-reflection, critical thinking and less aware on developing others through mentoring, interdisciplinary team building and negotiation.

Conclusion: Basing of the above finding it is concluded that leadership play a major role in the management of maternal health services. Recommendations were put forward including to increase understanding about maternal health leadership competence in MCH programme with more emphasis on interdisciplinary team building, negotiation, and capacity, policy advocacy practices which were not recognized by respondents and improve understanding on all identified weakness.

Keywords: Role, Leadership, maternal health, management, Kagera region, Tanzania.


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