Tanzania is home to nearly 48 million people, most of whom live in rural areas with limited access to reproductive health care services. As a result, 25% of Tanzanian women would like to plan their families but do not have access to contraceptives, many pregnant Tanzanian women do not receive testing or counseling for HIV, and 50% of Tanzanian mothers do not deliver their babies in a health facility.
EngenderHealth, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), works in Tanzania nationwide on FP, gender issues, FP-HIV integration, and other health initiatives. The use of implants in Tanzania has increased steadily since 2004, with the most significant increases resulting from the introduction of Implanon®. The expansion of EngenderHealth’s FP program to all 26 regions of the country has also contributed to an increase in uptake of this long-acting reversible method. The increase demonstrates the positive effect of the RESPOND Tanzania Project’s (RTP’s) expansion of services to lower level facilities and task shifting to nurse practitioners. Given this strong recent growth in implant use in Tanzania, it is clear that implants will play an important role in addressing high unmet need for FP.
The Expand Family Planning Project (Expand)FP) complements the national FP program by training providers in 21 facilities who would not have been trained with existing resources in under-supported districts near Arusha and Iringa. EngenderHealth and the MOHSW work to increase access and use of FP at the facility level, as well as using Special FP Days and mobile outreach services to access hard-to-reach communities.
EngenderHealth works to ensure reproductive rights of Tanzanian women and their families by integrating family planning with HIV
and comprehensive abortion care services. As part of our award-winning
work in HIV, we facilitate outreach to marginalized groups, including sex workers and youth; and in 2008 we launched a national dialogue about engaging men
in order to improve gender equity and reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence and disease.
EngenderHealth’s work in Tanzania is changing the health care landscape. Today, LA/PMs are in high demand throughout the country. At EngenderHealth-supported suites, the rate of HIV transmission between mothers and newborns is at an all-time low, and most postabortion clients leave the clinic with a contraceptive method of their choice. More needs to be done to achieve national reproductive health goals, and EngenderHealth is committed to continuing our work to improve access of Tanzanian women, men, and families to quality reproductive health.