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Low-income and middle-income countries are faced with a dual burden of disease, consisting both of communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases. This paper will examine the burden of disease in Tanzania, a low-income country located in East Africa. Specifically, we will review the leading causes of death and morbidity in Tanzania over the past 10-15 years; discuss the country’s epidemiological transition from mostly communicable to mostly non-communicable diseases; analyze its health system and financing sources; and make an argument for addressing a single health issue in this country.

Burden of Disease: Leading Causes of Death & Morbidity
According to World Health Organization (WHO) data from 2019, the top three causes of death in Tanzania were HIV/AIDS (25%), ischemic heart disease (9%) and lower respiratory infections (6%). The leading cause for morbidity was malaria at 8% followed by lower respiratory infections at 5%. From 2004 to 2014 there was an overall decrease in deaths due to communicable, maternal, neonatal or nutritional conditions by 20%, while deaths due to non-communicable causes increased by 40%. This significant shift demonstrates that Tanzania is undergoing epidemiological transition – moving away from primarily communicable causes towards primarily non-communicable ones.

Health System & Financing Sources
The Tanzanian health system consists mainly of public sector providers including primary care centers affiliated with district hospitals and referral hospitals run directly by national or local government. Private providers also exist but play only a small role on national scale. The main source of financial support for Tanzania’s health sector comes from government revenue as well as external donor assistance through international organizations such as WHO or USAID. According to data from 2017, total expenditure on health alone accounted for 8% GDP compared to 6% GDP allocated worldwide which highlights overall commitment towards improving healthcare services within the country . While this large allocation towards healthcare allows more people access treatment than they would otherwise have access too it also limits resources available towards tackling other development issues such as education or infrastructure that can significantly improve long term quality life within developing communities .

Argument For Addressing A Single Issue
Given limited resources available within Tanzania it is important for interventions focusing on major medical issues facing populations today be prioritized accordingly . One key area I suggest should be addressed specifically is Hypertension management , as it stands hypertension currently accounts for 14 percent mortality rate making it second largest killer after HIV/AIDS . Hypertension if left untreated increases risk factors associated illnesses such as stroke , kidney failure etc .. Cost effective interventions involving improved screening process combined lifestyle modification programs needs to be implemented nationally along side better trained professionals who can offer proper medication advice allowing patients more control over their blood pressure levels reducing chance suffering serious illness later down line . Additional funding could allow establishing hypertension clinics throughout rural areas providing previously disadvantaged members population with access required care helping reduce incidence associated fatalities ultimately resulting healthier population overall across nation given right resources are allocated correctly being economical approach relying heavily public private partnerships ensure success program implementation .

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