Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – On August 6, 2021, the United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government handed over kits and bicycles to local beneficiaries.
USAID’s Afya Shirikishi activity distributed the 710 bicycles and 859 sputum transportation boxes worth over 235 million Tanzanian shillings. The bicycles and sputum collection boxes are the working tools for community health workers who provide community tuberculosis (TB) and family planning services in eight regions (Geita, Mwanza, Pwani, Dar es Salaam, Katavi, Kigoma, Rukwa, and Songwe). Amref Health Africa supports these regions to improve community TB case identification and provide family planning services. Prior to receiving the tools, Afya Shirikishi trained 735 community health care workers using the National Community Health Worker Guidelines to equip them with the knowledge and skills of providing services.
At the handover event, the USAID Health Office Director, Ananthy Thambinayagam,
thanked the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for the partnership and collaboration with the United States that has spanned for 60 years now. “USAID is pleased with the progress in Tanzania to reduce the TB burden in the country and increase access to family planning through USAID Afya Shirikishi. As Tanzania moves towards self-reliance and achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, USAID reiterates its commitment to serve the people of Tanzania,” she concluded.
Afya Shirikishi is a five-year project to increase access to family planning services and cure and prevent tuberculosis in nine regions in the country including Zanzibar. The activity started in 2019 and is implemented by Amref Health Africa in partnership with Tanzania Communication and Development Center; Mwitikio wa Kudhibiti Kifua Kikuu na Ukimwi Tanzania; and Service Health and Development for People Living Positively with HIV/AIDS. Afya Shirikishi is under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; Zanzibar Ministry of Health; President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government; and Ministry of Education. In one year of implementation, the project engaged over 730 community health workers who worked directly with the community in active TB case finding, TB contact investigation, strengthening community referrals to the health facilities, mobilizing, and creating awareness, and demand creation for family planning services from communities.