UNFPA donates vehicle to Z’bar health ministry for coordination activities

THE United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has donated a new vehicle worth 85m/- for coordination and improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Zanzibar, particularly pregnant mothers who highly require reproductive health services.

Mr Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Representative in Tanzania handed over the vehicle while stating that: “Multiple hands on the steering wheel to drive reproductive health programming forward towards our destination is our motto.”

Elaborating, he emphasised on ending preventable maternal deaths, ending unmet needs for family planning, ending gender-based violence and harmful practices; and improving adolescent and youth wellbeing.

“We are making headway in our efforts to pull the emergency brake on maternal and new-born mortality, to bring preventable deaths to an end. However maternal mortality in Zanzibar continues to be alarming and reproductive health issues continue to be one of the leading causes of deaths,” Schreiner said.

According to the Ministry of Health Zanzibar reports: the number of women dying in health facilities due to childbirth complications has gone down from 70 in 2021 to 53 in 2022, and more recently, the number of new-born deaths has also dropped from 542 in 2021 to 421 in 2022.

He said that while these declining maternal mortality statistics and improvement on the utilisation of other reproductive health represent significant improvement, the problem persists.

The use of family planning which is acknowledged in reducing maternal deaths remains to be low (14 per cent) and the unmet needs is among the highest (28 per cent), “Our goal is zero unmet need for family planning to ensure no woman dies while giving life.”

The purpose of this vehicle, requested by the Ministry of Health, and procured by UNFPA, is to support coordination of reproductive health interventions in Zanzibar which include supportive supervision, field monitoring and capacity development.

This vehicle will further accelerate efforts to provide quality reproductive health services for all, and contribute to the overall well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

UNFPA representative said it is possible to have Zanzibar where every pregnancy is wanted and every child birth is safe, and that it is their hope that this vehicle will contribute significantly to addressing transport challenges, and will contribute to saving lives of women and young people in Zanzibar, urging the Ministry to maintain it.

On receiving the vehicle, the Zanzibar Minister of Health Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui expressed appreciation to the UNFPA for the vehicle support and other support to the people of Zanzibar.

The Minister mentioned some of the UNFPA support to Zanzibar in the health sector as: Health workers capacity building in Family planning, Gender Based Violence/Vac, Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC), Sexual Transmitted Infection, and comprehensive post abortion care.

Ms Fatma Mrisho- Principal Secretary, Zanzibar Health Ministry also thanked UNFPA for its leadership, commitment, and excellent collaboration for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of the people of Zanzibar.

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