Official Opening Speech by Hon. Dr. Lucy Nkya (Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare)
"The woman who cooks, goes to farm and take care of the family is the most crucial base in the community and to the country in general"
The guest of honour expressed her sincere gratitude to the chairperson of MEWATA and the organising committee for giving her the honour to meet and address her colleague women doctors, members of MEWATA and other stakeholders in the meeting.
On behalf of the government, she congratulated MEWATA for realising the importance of women health and their development and for all activities that the association has been doing in improving the health and development of women. She specifically praised the choice of the theme noting that it is timely as it reflects the reality at the community level and ensured them that the government has an extended arm to support MEWATA and other stakeholders who work to improve women’s health.
She outlined some of the challenges that impair women health including HIV/AIDS infections and other social cultural factors giving examples of killings albino and women with red eyes incriminated for witch craft. She emphasised that these aged women do not have adequate support but also are exposed to unhealthy environment and urged MEWATA, the power of media, RMOs and all stakeholders to advocate for the red eyes problem noting that it will serve many lives of innocent aged women.
Apart from HIV/AIDS and other social cultural factors, the guest of honour also addressed the issue of maternal health. She commended government’s efforts and other stakeholders in cutting down maternal mortality towards MDG 4 and 5. She noted that TDHS shows that there has been significant decline in maternal, under 5 and infant mortalities; however more needs to be done particularly in serving lives of pregnant mother as their deaths have significant impact the health of the children and the community in general.
On family planning, the guest of honour informed participants that there has been steady increase in use of contraceptives from 10% in 1991 to 34% in 2010. She noted that this is a crucial step forward in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality. Moreover, she urged MEWATA MEWATA to put this in the list of priorities especially in rural areas and there should be sensitization campaign to persuade men to attend family planning clinics; MEWATA and AGOTA should be in driver’s seat in making this a reality. She also gave an example of a family health day commemorated in Japan where men are highly involved and she noted that it is a good initiative to adopt.
Regarding improvement of healthy delivery, the guest of honour challenged MEWATA to assist the government by developing training programs to nurse midwives and other health care givers but also to look for preeminent ways to pull many more mothers to attend to health facilities for safe birth. One of the suggestions was to improve the number of nurse midwives and MEWATA and AGOTA can help the government programs to improve the situation.
She ensured them that the government in collaboration with all development partners, local public and private sectors, MPs, CSOs and the general community will continue with its endeavours to improve the health care system by adding skilled health professionals, drugs, equipments and supplies, information system, health finances and committed leadership and governance.
Ending her speech, the guest of honour thanked MEWATA for good job done in the past six years particularly on the breast cancer and maternal and newborn campaigns. She assured MEWATA members that the MoHSW is committed to support MEWATA’s efforts in enhancing the lives and entire health of the Tanzanian population.
- MEWATA UPDATES ON CERVICAL CANCER INTERVENTIONS IN MWANZA REGION BETWEEN 2014 AND 2016
- 17th MEWATA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING NOVEMBER 2016
- 15th MEWATA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING NOVEMBER 2015
- 65th session of WHO Regional Committee for Africa, in N'Djamena, Republic of Chad, 31 August- 4 Sept 2015
- Kahama Breast and Cervical cancer screening campaign