Canada funded health-nutrition project launched in Dodoma

Tanzania and Canada have jointly launched a new project led by Nutrition International which aims at improving the health of adolescents in the country by providing them with improved access to sexual reproductive health and nutrition services.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu and the Canadian Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan on Thursday in Dodoma said the project is also a part of the programme of strengthening partnership between the two sides.

In the launched, the Canadian government has injected 15 million Canadian dollars for the Building Rights for Improved Girls’ Health in Tanzania (BRIGHT) , a project to be implemented in Tabora region.

The seven-year project will be executed by the Nutrition International and its partners namely Engender Health and Young and Alive.

Addressing journalists, the BRIGHT Project Director Raphael Maligo said that the unique project builds the interconnectedness of the two crucial aspects of adolescent wellbeing, recognizing that both are inextricably linked and that addressing them together leads to substantial returns to adolescents’ health outcomes.

“By breaking down the barriers preventing adolescents from realizing their rights to sexual and reproductive health and nutrition, the project ensures that young people have equitable access to comprehensive and high-quality services. Adolescent girls in Tabora region are facing major challenges to their health and wellbeing,” Mr Maligo said.

According to government data, childbearing among girls aged 15-19 stands at 43 per cent, while 58 per cent are married early, and 71 per cent have experienced gender-based violence.

Furthermore, the prevalence of anaemia among women and girls in the region is 34.5percent, meaning a majority are at high risk of death during pregnancy or of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Adolescents account for almost a quarter of Tanzania’s population, a vibrant demographic that has immense potential to unlock social and economic development, however, much of this is impeded by lack of essential nutrition and sexual and reproductive health services.

The BRIGHT project is designed to work in close collaboration with ministries to address these pressing needs.

The BRIGHT approach is closely aligned to the Government of Tanzania’s strategic priorities as outlined in the National Accelerated Action and Investment Agenda for adolescent Health and Well-being (NAIA-AHW).

Nutrition International is committed to working hand in hand with the government and partners to unlock the full potential of adolescents by keeping them healthy and empowered through sexual and reproductive health and nutrition services.

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