Worth 2.5bn/-, the project is designed to complement the government’s health sector strategic plan IV particularly strengthening provision of quality health services to end preventable maternal and child deaths as well as ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Jacqueline Mahon said the project will work in improving health service delivery including building and renovating maternity wards in various health centres in Kigoma while capacitating them with essential equipment.
She said that by recognising the unique challenges of adolescent mothers, including inadequate support from their families, lack of access to age-appropriate services, stigma and discrimination, UNFPA supports first time mothers, educating them on how to stay health with their babies.
“We are working to make motherhood safer; in collaboration with regional and local government, we have indentified nine health facilities in project sites that are in the process of being renovated and equipped to provide high-quality reproductive, maternal and children health services something which will eventually improve outcomes for young women in Kigoma,” she said.
Mahon said that UNFPA’s core mission in Tanzania is to work to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every child is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled and prioritized in the 2030 Agenda which pledges to leave no one behind.
“In response to the priorities and commitments of the government of Tanzania, we at UNFPA, with the support of the government of Ireland, will continue to strive to ensure that youth are involved in the development of policies and programmes that affect them.”
Ireland ambassador to Tanzania Paul Sherlock said the implementation of the first phase last year, enabled the set up of youth centres in Kigoma to help in and out-of-school youth to receive appropriate information about risky sexual behaviors, HIV/AIDS, early pregnancies; child marriages and gender based violence (GBV).
“We recognise the significant role that reproductive health, women’s empowerment and gender equality plays in sustainable development...This support to UNFPA is complimented by other contributions from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, (Euro 5.2million which is approximately 13bn/-) to support the whole project ,” he said.