The ACQUIRE Tanzania Project
EngenderHealth leads the ACQUIRE Tanzania Project (ATP), a five-year (2007-2012) Associate Award that emerged from the global ACQUIRE Project. Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), ATP is USAID/Tanzania’s flagship family planning program.
Through the ATP, EngenderHealth partners with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, faith-based organizations, and other groups to make lasting improvements in the quality and availability of reproductive health care in Tanzania. With the support of USAID, ATP reaches more than 4,700 health facilities throughout the mainland and Zanzibar and encompasses family planning, reproductive health, postabortion care, and HIV services for pregnant women.
ATP implements a model that synchronizes supply, demand, and advocacy needs. With its headquarters in Dar es Salaam, the project has three field offices: Arusha, Mwanza, and Iringa.
Expanding Contraceptive Options
The project’s efforts to expand contraceptive options include:
- Increasing the availability of long-acting and permanent methods of contraception (LA/PMs)—such as sterilization, hormonal implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs)—as well as a range of other contraceptive methods, such as pills, condoms, and injectables
- Implementing communication campaigns to increase awareness of LA/PMs and to address myths and misconceptions surrounding these methods
- Building the capacity of local health officials to advocate for family planning resources and programs
- Introducing COPE® and facilitative supervision-two quality improvement tools that help health care staff identify and resolve problems on their own
- Integrating family planning into HIV and postabortion care services
Increasing Access to Postabortion Care Services
To ensure that women have access to postabortion care, EngenderHealth trains doctors and midwives at 200 health facilities in mainland Tanzania and in Zanzibar to provide comprehensive postabortion care services, including emergency treatment of complications from abortion and miscarriage, counseling, referral, and infection prevention.
The ATP also works to expand postabortion care services so that women can receive treatment at health centers and local dispensaries, not just at regional hospitals. In addition, EngenderHealth advocates for the integration of postabortion care into routine maternal care services.
Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
EngenderHealth and its partners work in Iringa and Manyara regions to reduce the transmission of HIV from pregnant women to their children. The project offers a continuum of integrated maternal and child health by:
- Promoting voluntary counseling and testing for HIV
- Providing peripartum antiretroviral drugs
- Encouraging safer obstetric practices
- Educating new mothers about safe infant-feeding practices
- Engaging male partners and mobilizing communities to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV
- Training health professionals to provide quality services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and related reproductive health and family planning services
- Expanding PMTCT services, including HIV testing for pregnant women and their partners and counseling and referrals for family planning
- Improving the quality of health facilities, including facility renovations
- Conducting monitoring and evaluation
Among the project’s achievements to date:
- 14,676 health care professionals were trained to provide LA/PMs, comprehensive postabortion care, and PMTCT services during 2008-2009—far exceeding expectations.
- 202,345 clients received LA/PMs during 2008-2009, an increase of nearly 30% from the previous year.
- More than 6,200 clients received postabortion care services during 2008-2009, an increase of more than 100% from 2007-2008. Comprehensive postabortion care services were expanded from 10 districts in Mwanza and Shinyanga regions to 16, and to five districts of Zanzibar during 2008-2009.
- More than 82,000 women received PMTCT services, and 90% of women getting prenatal care also received voluntary HIV testing. PMTCT services expanded from 159 sites to 322.
- In partnership with Council Health Management Teams, ATP completed renovation of 29 health facilities, building waiting areas, rooms for postabortion care, minilaparotomy theaters, family planning rooms, labor wards, and postnatal wards.
- ATP provided technical and financial assistance to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in reviewing and updating national materials for training health care staff in family planning.
- The project continued to advocate for inclusion of family planning in district health plans. In 2008-2009, 72% of districts under ACQUIRE had allocated funds for family planning, and in 2009-2010, nearly all districts have allocated funds for family planning.