UNFPA, Japan embassy ink deal to improve maternal services

THE Embassy of Japan in Tanzania has signed a funding agreement of 921m/- with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve maternal health in the country.

The contract falls under the Japan Supplementary Budget Project and is expected to benefit over 113,000 individuals, including women, adolescent girls, and first-time young mothers.

The beneficiaries are from the Nyarugusu and Nduga refugee camps in the Kasulu and Kibondo districts of the Kigoma Region.

During the signing ceremony, UNFPA Country Representative to Tanzania, Mr Mark Bryan Schreiner, noted that the project aims to sustain maternal health and sexual reproductive health in refugee communities. This includes women of reproductive age, adolescent girls, first-time young mothers, and the host community within the context of the refugee influx from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He added that the project aims to procure essential medical equipment and train frontline health workers to ensure the delivery of quality sexual and reproductive health services. The services include maternal health and the provision of dignity kits, such as menstrual health products, to women and girls.

“UNFPA is delivering lifesaving care for women and girls in Nyarugusu and Nduta camps to ensure safe delivery during childbirth,” he said.

He also stated that they will continue to support the government’s efforts in ensuring safe delivery, voluntary family planning, reducing maternal deaths and improving sexual reproductive health.

Japan Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Yasuhi Misawa, added that they mostly invest in projects that improve the livelihoods of women and protect women and children facing various conflicts and natural disasters.

“Japan is committed to improving the health of people around the world by achieving Universal Health Coverage. We will continue to strengthen sustainable health systems that ensure comprehensive and continuous care for mothers and children,” he said.

Borderless Tanzania Limited Chief Executive Officer, Ms Moana Kikuchi, stated that the company will distribute free Uhuru sanitary pads to adolescent girls in the Nyarugusu and Nduta camps in Kigoma.

She explained that she supports the efforts of the two partners because she previously met a young girl who was pregnant and struggling to get food.

“When I visited Tanzania, I met a young girl who was pregnant and had no food to eat. I felt sorry for her. From there, I got the idea of starting a company and employing these girls so that they can become self-dependent,” she said.

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