Shortage of skilled health practitioners has been cited as one of the challenges towards increasing the use of contraceptives from 20 per cent to 60 per cent by 2015.
This was said in Dar es Salaam recently by a health consultant, Dr Calister Simbakalia, during a national roundtable meeting organised by the German Foundation for World Population (DSW).
She said the health sector in general was faced with a shortage of skilled personnel, citing Tabora, Shinyanga and Manyara regions among the most affected. She, however, said only Kilimanjaro region had skilled health personnel to provide family planning services.
She refuted rumours that contraceptives had serious effects on women, who used them saying they were good and quiet helpful to women.
For his part, national family planning coordinator Maurice Hiza said the government planned to increase the number of contraceptive users to 5.23 million by 2015 from the current 2.02 million users.
He said there was a need to reach out to rural areas to educate people about family planning.
Hiza said the government targeted to increase CPR in this year from 18 per cent to 23 per cent.
According to a desk review report more investment in the health sector is still needed particularly in reproductive health.
The report said reproductive health should be made a priority for affective implementation of government’s commitments and for achieving the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
DSW country representative Peter Owaga said the meeting was meant for further discussion about how best they could improve reproductive health and family planning in Tanzania.
Owaga called upon national decision makers to make reproductive health and family planning a priority in their policies, programmes and budgets since it was inextricably linked to poverty reduction since population growth had impacts on the country’s development.
He said donors’ interest was to support poverty reduction in Tanzania thus called upon participants to grasp the relationship and increase support.