Dar es Salaam – Today, representatives from the United States Government and the Government of Tanzania participated in a virtual conference to celebrate achievements of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Boresha Afya Lake and Western Zone activity and partnered with the Government of Tanzania to improve health outcomes for millions of Tanzanians in Kigoma, Simiyu, Geita, Mwanza, Kagera, Shinyanga, Mara and Zanzibar. Participants celebrate the many achievements of the Boresha Afya Lake and Western Zone activity and discuss opportunities to further improve the provision of high-quality health services. USAID also commits to pursuing this same level of collaboration and partnership moving forward as this partnership helps to achieve the best results for the Tanzanian people. Dr. Aifello Sichalwe, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children was the guest of honor.
The five-year, $ 59 million Boresha Afya activity enabled Tanzanian women, children, adolescents and their caregivers to utilize improved malaria, reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent (RMNCAH) services. And when the world changed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boresha Afya expanded its support to include important actions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including over $1 million to support case management, emergency, and critical care in both Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania. The activity generated a sustainable demand for health services, reduced barriers to access and uptake of (RMNCAH) and malaria.USAID has achieved tremendous improvements in the quality of RMNCAH and malaria services and improvements of key health performance indicators that we have achieved, including:
- Reduced the number of maternal deaths in Kagera, Mara and Geita from 231 in 2016 to 170 in 2020 (26%); In Zanzibar, together, we reduced the number of maternal deaths in supported hospitals from 67 in 2016 to 47 in 2020 (30%). This was accomplished by conducting reviews and addressing identified gaps.
- Increased postpartum family planning uptake from 12% in 2016/17 to 29% in 2019/20, ensuring that couples have access to quality family planning services immediately after giving birth and supporting healthy birth spacing and the wellbeing of both mother and child.
- Increased protection against malaria for expectant mothers and unborn babies through uptake of intermittent preventive therapy (IPTp3+), with usage increasing from 28% in 2016 to 66% in 2021 in the 7 focus regions.
Speaking at today’s event, USAID Mission Director V. Kate Somvongsiri remarked, “At USAID, we are committed to investing in health systems strengthening and breakthrough innovations to prevent maternal, newborns, children and adolescents’ deaths by helping women and children access essential, and often lifesaving, health services. These priorities are reflected in our Country Development Cooperation Strategy – which places children and adolescents at the heart of our five-year plan. Moving forward, we are excited to continue partnering with you all to further reduce maternal and newborn deaths. Through a new activity that is under procurement, we will build on the lessons learned from Boresha Afya and leverage the capacity and energy that continues to grow and shine in this country.”