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First screening programme launched in Tanzania

27 March 2019

Sense International Tanzania launches the country’s first screening and early intervention programme for children with deafblindness/MSI. The three year programme, funded by Jersey Overseas Aid, aims to screen over 72,000 children for vision and hearing impairments and support children identified with deafblindness/MSI.

a woman holding an infant. the infant is undergoing a hearing test Tanzania currently does not provide early screening and intervention services. This means that many children do not receive early diagnosis or proper health interventions, leading to poor overall health outcomes. Parents often are also not aware of their child’s impairment and the important role they could play in the stimulation and development of their child.

Currently, the health sector in the country has low capacity and no existing facilities providing specialised screening and early intervention for children with deafblindness/MSI and other complex disabilities. Low public awareness of deafblindness and current lack of Government support further impacts this.

However, the newly established programme, which incorporates learnings from Sense International’s screening and early intervention project in Kenya and Uganda, will improve overall health and developmental outcomes of each child from the earliest age possible. Sensory screening and early intervention such as physiotherapy or sensory stimulation, provides a crucial service that is otherwise not available. Early intervention is critical to help children develop, thrive and realise their full potential later in life.

The programme is based in Dar es Salaam and will provide an early identification and intervention model to showcase to the Tanzanian government, the programme across the country.

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First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019