Dodoma — DODOMA: DODOMA has been cited among the regions with the highest percentage of family planning services, with the number of family planning users shooting from 40 to 64 per cent, thanks to an ambitious project currently being implemented by Jhpiego Tanzania in collaboration with regional authorities.
Dubbed ‘The Challenge Initiative (TCI),’ the three-year project seeks to improve access to family planning services through city, town and District councils.
According to Jhpiego Country Lead of TCI project, Ms Rose Mnzava, in Dodoma Region, the project that comes to an end in the next six months, was being implemented in Dodoma City Council and Chamwino District Council respectively.
Also, the similar project was being implemented in different local government authorities in Morogoro, Mbeya and Geita regions, according to the TCI country lead.
“In this project which has been successfully implemented the main target is all girls and women who have attained the age that allows them to deliver, and we targeted persons between 15 and 49 years,” she said adding that to youths, the project targets girls between 15 and 24 years.
For 14 years, Jhpiego has always been focusing on quality of health services for families, and in TCI project, the Non-Governmental Organisation has for almost six years been providing funding to local government authorities to implement family planning programmes with a view to improving access to family planning services.
According to Ms Mnzava, TCI project kicked off in 2017 in Tanga, Dar es Salaam and Arusha Regions, and that it was later rolled out in other regions including Dodoma.
In Dodoma Region, she said, the project kicked off in 2020 and that it was almost phasing out in the next six months, adding that already, Jhpiego had issued a notice to the regional authorities to ensure that the project remains sustainable when the NGOs suspend funding.
However, Dodoma Regional Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Method gave an assurance on the sustainability of the project, saying that it had already been incorporated in the budget plans immediately after donors phase out their funding.
“At the beginning financing of the project was 80per cent from Jhpiego and the government was pumping in 20per cent but today, as the project goes to an end, we are providing more funding than the donor,” he insisted.
On the success of the project, Jhpiego Country Director, Alice Christensen said it had helped to reduce early pregnancies and maternal deaths. Ms Christensen added that she was happy to see the report showing that access to family planning services had increased from 40 to about 64per cent.
Jhpiego convened a meeting in Dodoma to evaluate the implementation of the project, a meeting that was also attended by beneficiaries of the project.
“I started using family planning when I was 18 years and during that time, my family and close friends described me as a prostitute, but today I have my husband and a daughter and I am healthy unlike the notions that using family planning methods causes infertility,” testified one Subira Msingamika.