President Jakaya Kikwete has said the government is planning to raise the contraceptive prevalence rates to 60 percent by 2015 from the current 27.4 percent in an effort aimed at improving the health of women and children.
This government decision is also hoped to improve both antenatal and postnatal care for expectant women and in the process, make pregnancy a safe experience for Tanzanian women, from the now potentially fatal ordeal that it is.
Kikwete made the remarks while addressing the family planning Summit on Wednesday in London. According to the president, the founding of ‘Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania’ (UMATI) has resulted in the raise contraceptive prevalence rate from 5 percent in 1989 to 27.4 percent this year.
“This is far too low, but we are committed and determined to do better in the coming years…” said the president.
The government has planned to deploy incentives such as increasing the number of women under contraceptives from 2.4 million in 2010 to 6.6 million in 2015. The President further pledged to fully implement the National Family Planning Costed Implementation Programme (2010 – 2015) to ensure contraceptive security, capacity building, advocacy and demand creation, service delivery systems as well as management, monitoring and evaluation of the initiative in the country.
About USD 88.2m will be required to meet the contraceptive commodities and supply costs in the proposed period.
“The government has a family planning budget line for commodities. It is also benefiting from contribution by health basket partners, USAID, DFID and Australia AID,” he said adding that the anticipation outcome of the Summit should oversee the financing gap closed to provide the targeted 4.2 million women with the contraceptives they need.
President Jakaya Kikwete cited the lack of adequate resources, social inhibitions, both religious and cultural, as the central challenges slowing down the family planning objective. The difficulties he have a proposed solution which the president named as ‘education and sensitization’.
Contraceptive prevalence rate, posted on the World Health Organization site, is an indicator of health, population, development and empowerment of women. It serves as a proxy measure of access to reproductive health services that are essential for meeting many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the child mortality, maternal health, HIV/Aids, and gender related goals.
The president called on participants attending the summit to work together to bring about realize this global initiative.