Journalists learn about supply shortage in Tanzania

29th February 2008

As part of the Countdown 2015 Europe project, DSW accompanied seven European journalists and one photographer to various locations within Tanzania to give them a first hand impression on what reproductive health (RH)supplies shortage really means. Visiting SRH projects in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Moshi, etc., the reporters saw for themselves how the gap, e.g. between demand and supply for contraceptive implants, affects the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

The decision to make Tanzania the destination of the journalist's study tour had a number of reasons. Due to the very high total fertility rate of more than five children per woman, Tanzania´s population is projected to double by 2050. Moreover, the maternal mortality rate is unacceptably high at 950 per 100,000 live births.

The participants were confronted with specific RH supplies challenges, the political background against which aid interventions in this area takes place as well as different perspectives on how to tackle RH supply problems.

To get a better understanding of the gaps between the availability and demand for supplies, the journalists met with experts from the USAID | DELIVER project and visited the Population Services International (PSI) warehouse in Dar es Salaam. This warehouse in Tanzania´s major city was well stocked with male and female condoms, malaria medicines and contraceptive pills. However, a later visit to the rural Msumbe village in the Morogoro region made the participants acutely aware of the fact that too many people simply live too far away from health facilities and cannot access the RH supplies they need.

As a result, they depend on external help, such as that provided by MOREFU (Morogoro Rural Women Revolving Loan Fund). The project provides income-generating programmes for women and young girls at risk between the age of 14 and 49 years. Additionally the projects offer prevention and treatment programmes and supplies people with condoms and contraceptives.
The trip took place from February 16-23.

Countdown 2015 Europe campaigns for universal access to and increased donor support for RH supplies. For more details on the trip, please contact Maike Schliebs, Advocacy Officer, DSW.

Source: Maike Schliebs, DSW.

Categories: Advocacy and Accountability Working Group