By Prosper Makene, Dar es Salaam
THE government through the ministry of health in partnership with Marie Stopes Tanzania (MST) has averted 1.4 million unintended pregnancies which have enabled to save the lives of at least 2,800 pregnant women last year in 2021.
This was disclosed on Friday last week by Marie Stopes Tanzania Country Director Mr. Vadacanthara Chandrashekar at the launch of Lifeguard Condoms in Dar es Salaam.
The director said MST has continued to work in close partnership with the government to improve the quality of health systems in the country by ensuring that the majority of women have access to quality health services.
“Most of the services which we provide are provided in public health facilities in all regions in Tanzania. Last year our team went to more than 5,000 public health facilities to provide injectables, implants and other services,” he said.
According to him, through the collaboration with the government, MST has been able to reach public health facilities from the village level to the district level to offer services in partnership with the government.
He said MST’s launch of a new Lifeguard contraceptive product was a good sign that will give clients the products which will enable them to take control of their lives.
“We work with the government and other partners to promote contraceptive use in the country…we will bring much more exciting products so that women and girls can exercise their reproductive health needs,” he said.
Lifeguard Condoms was the second product to be launched by Marie Stopes Tanzania after misoprostol products to the Tanzania market following entries of such products in the country from the neighbouring countries.
On his part, the Ilala District Commissioner Mr. Ng’ilabuzu Ludigija who was the guest of honour at the launching event of Lifeguard Condoms said the launch will not only help in the fight against unwanted pregnancies but sexually transmitted diseases as well as in family planning.
He asked for the need to ensure that the government was happy that Tanzanians build a culture of the right way of using condoms, especially in family planning.
According to Ilala district commissioner, HIV prevalence amongst youths in various regions including Dar es Salaam keeps on rising.
“Various reports from the ministry of health have shown an increase in new HIV infection by at least 4 percent,” he said.
He cautioned the public to make full use of the product as it was helpful in many ways including averting unintended pregnancies, family planning and protection against sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV.
Marie Stopes Tanzania (MST) is a non-governmental organization specializing in health, especially reproductive health and general health operating in 9 regions including the Isles.
It offers various services which include cervical cancer screening, specialist care for women and children, general health care and various tests like ultrasound, hepatitis tests, childhood immunizations and hepatitis vaccine.