Handover to the Chamwino District Council Dabalo Health Centre
09 May 2023
Ndugu Mgeni Rasmi, Wageni Waalikwa, Vijana, Mabibi na Mabwana:
A warm welcome to this handover event in Chamwino District, Dodoma Region.
We recognize ourjoint commitment to realize universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health in Tanzania.
We recognize the dedication and commitmentof health workers in Chamwino District and beyond, and Ministry of Health professionals, for their focused efforts toward providing Sexual and Reproductive Health Services.
We recognize the Government of Denmark as a strong global advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the Royal Danish Embassy in Dar es Salaam for supporting health system strengthening to expand capacity for reproductive health services in Tanzania.
We thank the Government of Denmark for funding of2.3 million US dollars, which supported the project, Realizing Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Rural Tanzania. The majority of project activities were carried out from 2019 to 2021.
We celebrate the successful completion of the Denmark-funded project, which has through provision of reproductive health services and information, made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of women, men and adolescents.
The Denmark-funded project, focused on rural areas in the Dodoma, Simiyu and Zanzibar regions, provided training for over 600 health care workers.
Participants included nurse-midwives, clinical officers, medical officers and general nurses.
Trainings covered topics in Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health.
Multiple groups of health care workers were engaged as mentors, and trainers of trainers on Sexual and Reproductive Health standards, to further disseminate this essential knowledge.
This morning I spoke with a nurse-midwife [name] from Dodoma; Through the Denmark-funded project, ten health workers were trained for three months on Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (at the Tanzania Training Centre for International Health).
Nurse-midwife [name] explained that she and fellow Health workers used their new knowledge to offer improved care for caesarean section and blood transfusion patients; and to provide high quality care for low-birth weight newborns, including resuscitation. Wow! Knowledge gained through the Denmark-funded training has clearly enabled safer birth processes for mothers and newborns in multiple critical cases.
The Denmark-funded project also supported the development of:
National Guidelines for Neonatal Care,
Higher diploma level standalone Midwifery Curriculum, and
Curriculum on Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care for health care providers.
In partnership with the Government of Tanzania, UNFPA supports the development and revision of guidance documents and frameworks aimed at strengthening effective delivery of health services.
Through the Denmark-funded project, Dabalo Health Centre, here in Chamwino, Dodoma was upgraded through the:
Renovation of a maternity ward and operating theatre, and the
Donation of medical equipment, to facilitate comprehensive Emergency obstetric and newborn care.
Furthermore, three dispensaries in Chamwino (specifically, the Itiso, Manda and Nhinhi dispensaries) were supplied with medical equipment, to provide health services including basic emergency obstetric and newborn care.
These donations, accompanied with staff training, enhance capacity of the district health system to address critical cases and promote safe deliveries. It is energizing to see the broad smiles with which health workers have received this equipment, knowing the impact that the equipment has to facilitate their life-saving work.
This equipment, with a total value of over $83,000 US dollars, includes: fetal heart monitors, oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, and tables specifically designed for operations, labour/delivery, and gynecological exams. In the capable hands of health workers, these are life-saving materials.
The donation of an ambulance to Dabalo Health Centre, enables transportation for medical referrals and offers access to urgent medical services, especially assisting populations in rural areas.
Denmark’s health sector support facilitates poverty alleviation through health sector development and primary health care.
In partnership with the Government of Tanzania, this project recognizes the importance of investing in reproductive health services. The results are significant.
Within the project area in Dodoma, according to District Health Information System data, over the past few years, the:
Per cent of deliveries assisted by skilled health attendants increased from 69 to 91 per cent.
Per cent of women delivering in health facilities increased from 69 to 98 per cent
Across the three regions, this project has significantly contributed to improved reproductive health indicators, including tens of thousands more women giving birth at health facilities, thereby increasing safety of births.
The Denmark-funded project demonstrates the importance of continued investment in youth; the project established a youth friendly facility for sexual and reproductive health services at Nhinhi dispensary in Chamwino district.
This effort involved training 50 health care workers in Dodoma on provision of Youth Friendly Services.
In addition, 50 young people in Dodoma were trained on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence prevention and response. These young people are now actively engaged as peer educators.
Through these efforts, nearly 50,000 adolescent and young people have been reached with Sexual and Reproductive Health information and services, including on family planning and comprehensive sexuality education.
Ndugu Mgeni Rasmi:
These achievements in maternal and reproductive health clearly show the potential of investments to improve quality of reproductive health services. By improving individual and community health, these outcomes contribute to national development targets.
We commend the Government of Tanzania on achievements and further actions to increase access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and to increase access to maternal and newborn health. This includes policies and plans for enhanced quality of care:
the Health System Strategic Plan V, and
the One Plan III, (the National Plan for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Nutrition).
UNFPA supports the Government of Tanzania to deliver positive outcomes related to commitments made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25), including:
Zero preventable maternal deaths, and
Zero unmet need for family planning information and services.
We recognize that Denmark generously co-hosted theInternational Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25). We thank Denmark for their strong global advocacy of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and we look forward to together following up on these commitments.
Recognition of gaps and challenges
We recognize the urgency of further investment in health programming, amidst unacceptably high maternal mortality, and amidst continued unmet need for family planning.
There are significant challenges to overcome to meet our goals, including the goal for zero preventable maternal deaths by 2030, as stated in the Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ndugu Mgeni Rasmi:
We call on development partners and the Government of Tanzania to continue toinvest in Sexual and Reproductive Health, to support the ongoing effort to guarantee rights and choices for all, and facilitate socio-economic growth.
We continue to work towards the provision of health services for all that serve women, youth, and other vulnerable populations, including those in rural areas, leaving no one behind.