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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

International NGO reaffirms support for health sector ahead of CEO`s visit

29th September 2011

President and chief executive officer of an international non-governmental organisation – EngenderHealth- Pamela Barnes is scheduled to visit Tanzania to affirm the global organisation’s long-term commitment to continue supporting the health sector.

A statement availed by the NGO’s office in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday said, Barnes’s

four-day visit would take her to some of the more than one hundred health facilities which have been supported to improve services through renovations supported by the Acquire Tanzania Project (ATP).

“She will also see other interventions supported by the Champion project in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza regions,” it said.

Both ATP and Champion receive support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“She will also be introduced to a few of the thousands of clients who now have access to family planning methods of their choice, including long-acting and permanent methods, through ATP’s efforts, and meet with partners at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other organisations in the country,” said Richard Killian, EngenderHealth country representative and chief of party for ATP.

“In Mwanza, Barnes will make a field visit to, among other areas, renovated maternity wards of Sekou Toure hospital and Makongoro clinic to see services provided at the facilities, including comprehensive post-abortion care (cPAC) and routine family planning (FP),” read the statement in part.

She will also visit Champion-supported health facilities in the region to see how the project is working with the government to make health facilities and services more relevant and appealing to the people.

“Moreover, she will have an opportunity to interact with community members who have been reached by the Champion project, particularly those who benefited from education on gender equality and HIV prevention,” added Dunstan Bishanga, deputy chief of party for the Champion project.

The statement said the HIV prevention work of the Champion project and ATP’s prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Aids (PMTCT) activities were supported through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar).

For more than 20 years, EngenderHealth has increased women's and men’s access to high quality family planning and maternal health services in the country in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and local institutions, it added.

“EngenderHealth’s vital work has improved access to family planning nationwide, and contributed to the remarkable 35 per cent increase in modern contraceptive usage among married women between 2005 and 2010,” the statement further noted.

According to the statement, EngenderHealth’s ATP, which is the United States government’s flagship family planning programme in the country, was active in every region to train health professionals to provide vital family planning and maternal health services, engage communities, and advocate for positive policy change.

At the same time, through its ground-breaking Champion project, also supported by USAID, EngenderHealth was working across 16 districts to increase men’s involvement in reducing the spread of HIV by using a holistic approach that addresses underlying gender issues that drive transmission of the virus, it added.

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