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T-MARC committed to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

T-MARC committed to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

MATERNAL, newborn and child health care is one of the key components of the National Package of Essential Reproductive and Child Health Interventions (NPERCHI) focusing on improving the quality of life for women, adolescents and children.

The major components of the package include maternity services, prenatal care, emergency obstetric care, child care, forty maternity services, family planning, HIV/AIDS diagnosis and management etc.

This is because improving access to quality health care for mothers and children requires interventions and proven community-based and targeted health policies that address best practice.

Tanzania and its development partners have prioritized investment in reproductive and sexual health by improving the performance of the health system in infrastructure, human resources, service delivery, technology and performance monitoring.

As a country, we have been implementing a number of efforts in the whole issue of reproductive, child, youth and nutrition services to ensure that the nation takes action.

These efforts have risen to optimism, but more needs to be done to advance this achievement and the unfinished agenda.

Recognizing this, the government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and various stakeholders organized a national scientific reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health and nutrition conference with the aim of creating a platform for all key stakeholders to take action on strategic efforts for the future.

This three-day event was held at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) from 17th to 19th November 2021and was attended by around 1000 experts in health and nutrition.

The conference was also aimed at accelerating the reduction of maternal mortality, infants, children under five and adolescents.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, said the government has outlined five strategies aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality, including strengthening family planning services for a specific agenda.

"The government's first strategy is to build strong health systems to protect maternal and child health by investing in family planning services as it is very important for us towards a higher economy, we cannot get there without this," said Prime Minister Majaliwa.

He said the strategy also aims to increase health facilities by building clinics in every ward and health center in each division, including surgery.

He mentioned other initiatives, including enhancing specialist care, medical and pharmaceutical technology, maternal mortality reporting, health care and nutrition strategies for young people.

The Prime Minister also named the fifth plan to strengthen anti-cervical cancer prevention services for the HPV vaccine for girls under 14 years of age.

"As you all remember, in November 2018, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, when she was Vice President of the United Republic, launched “Jiongeze Tuwavushe Salama” campaign which aimed to increase responsibility for ensuring the safety of pregnant mothers and infants." said Majaliwa.

Majaliwa used the opportunity to direct the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children to review the operation guidelines of health centers on staffing so that specialists can be found up to the district level.

“The Ministry of Education should ensure that our curricula and schools invest in teaching parenting according to the age of the students. Local government authorities should also oversee the nutrition programme for day school students.

Nutrition is very important in the whole issue of improving reproductive health,” said Premier Majaliwa.

He also called on the Ministry of Health in collaboration with all stakeholders to improve access to services for infants including the availability of specialized rooms for sick infants, medical equipment and providers skilled.

“I want all stakeholders at all levels to invest effectively in reproductive and child health care systems to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030 of reducing maternal mortality to 70 per 100,000 live births and 12 infant deaths per 1, 000 live birth,” said Mr Majaliwa.

The Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Dorothy Gwajima said family planning is an important step in reducing maternal mortality and helps in improving maternal health and making mothers good participants in nation building and increasing income for families.

"Family planning helps to give the mother the opportunity to breastfeed her baby for at least two years as recommended by health officials.

The Ministry in collaboration with development partners has continued to invest and provide services in this initiative and currently the use of contraceptives in local statistics reaches 39 percent with a national target of 47 percent by 2023,” said Dr. Gwajima.

Other guests who attended the meeting were Former President Dr Jakaya Kikwete, executives of various ministries and private public health institutions.

Among the key stakeholders who participated in the conference for promoting reproductive health services is T-MARC Tanzania.

T-MARC Tanzania is a non-governmental organization working to improve health and promote economic development. Its efforts to change the behavior of community members are aimed at improving people's health in family planning and reproductive health, child health, water and sanitation, nutrition and the fight against communicable and non-communicable diseases.

T-MARC Tanzania has been a good partner of the government and other stakeholders in ensuring that the community is aware of reproductive health and nutrition.

T-MARC recognizes that reproductive health is a cross-cutting issue that requires the participation of stakeholders so they have made sure that they are directly involved in accessing reproductive health education especially for youth as well as child health.

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Author: SUNDAY NEWS Reporter

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