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Our Programs

Expand Access to Postabortion Care in Zanzibar

Tanzania
| 2020-2021
Through the Expand Access to Postabortion Care project, EngenderHealth worked to expand access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including postabortion care (PAC), in Zanzibar.
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A man in an EngenderHealth polo speaks to two women wearing white headcoverings.

Guttmacher Institute found that 16% of maternal deaths in Tanzania are due to abortion-related complications and 46% of rural-area and 60% of urban-area abortions are performed by unskilled providers. We worked at the national, council, health facility, and community levels to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity by expanding access to government-led, high-quality, and age-appropriate services.

At the national level, we worked to ensure clear understanding of existing policies and improve coordination. To ensure strong, sustained political support, we supported government and civil society dialogues around abortion-related care. At the health facility level, we expanded the number of lower-level facilities providing services, increased the use of misoprostol (medication abortion) for PAC services, revised quality assurance and quality improvement tools, ensured providers understand policies, and trained health workers using our Gender, Youth, and Social Inclusion (GYSI) tools to reduce gender- and age-related barriers to access of PAC services. Further, we trained champions, local leaders, and other community members to disseminate messages to communities to increase social acceptance of PAC services.

During 2020, in collaboration with the government of Zanzibar, we reviewed and disseminated national policies and guidelines around the provision of high-quality, gender-equitable, and youth-friendly PAC services. As a result, Zanzibar’s Integrated Human Resource Information System now includes in-service training for health staff. We also supported the development of user-friendly software to increase efficiency for the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar to track PAC data and outcomes. EngenderHealth, in collaboration with the government and through consultations with government officials and other stakeholders, generated evidence for informed PAC advocacy and strategic planning.

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