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UK Minister for Africa Visits EngenderHealth Scaling Up Family Planning Programme in Zanzibar

EngenderHealth was pleased to welcome the UK Minister for Africa, Hon James Duddridge, on a recent trip to Zanzibar, during which the Minister visited the UK-funded, EngenderHealth-implemented Scaling Up Family Planning (SuFP) program at Mwera Primary Health Care Unit plus (PHCU+) facility. The Minister was accompanied by the UK Ambassador to Tanzania, Hon David Concar; Minister of Health, Social Welfare, Elderly, and Children for Zanzibar, Hon Nassor Mazrui; and Minister of State, President’s Office, Finance, and Planning for Zanzibar, Hon Jamal Kassim Ali. The visit provided an opportunity to demonstrate the value of the UK Government partnership with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar in strengthening the health system to improve access to inclusive and integrated Family Planning and comprehensive postabortion care (CPAC) services. Minister Duddgridge saw services provided at the facility through the collaboration between the two governments and EngenderHealth to support Mwera PHCU+ and the local community. SuFP is a five-years project funded by British High Commission and implemented by EngenderHealth in partnership with Pathfinder International, DKT International, and Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT).

As one of 33 health facilities in the Central District Council in Unguja Island, the government-owned Mwera PHCU+serves a community of approximately 7,900 people. SuFP supports the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to strengthen the Local Government Authorities’ capacity in the island to deliver high-quality services. SuFP provides health service providers orientations, trainings, and mentorship in areas such as family planning; CPAC; adolescent- and youth-friendly services; and identification of, management of, and referrals for gender-based violence.

During the visit to the facility, Minister Duddridge observed various services provided at Mwera PHCU+ in the family planning, CPAC, and adolescent- and youth-friendly service sections. An adolescent client explained to Minister Duddridge the benefits of having adolescent- and youth-friendly services at Mwera PHCU+. Leaders of the respective sections explained the scope of services provided, achievements, and challenges, and Prudence Masako, the EngenderHealth Tanzania Country Representative, provided an overview of the SuFP program. “We thank the Minister for visiting our SuFP programme; we will continue to support the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to ensure the health system is able to provide integrated, inclusive family planning services and reach all groups including people with disabilities and adolescents through funding from the British High Commission,’’ said Masako.