Welcome Remarks by Dr. Marina Njelekela (MEWATA Chaiperson)
In her remarks, the chairperson thanked all MEWATA members for their never ending devotion to the association as reflected by high attendance in the AGM; she specifically thanked MEWATA members from the regions outside Dar es Salaam for their efforts to attend the meeting. She further thanked the Guest of Honour for accepting the invitation to officiate the meeting despite the busy schedule and other equally important commitments. On top of that, the Chairperson also utilised the opportunity to congratulate the Guest of Honour for winning in the 2010 general elections as a Member of Parliament noting that it is an inspiration to MEWATA members that they too can contest and win top political positions.
Having said that, the chairperson highlighted the objectives of the meeting which included among other things;
- To discuss health issues related to our women in our country and how they impact on their development,
- To design more innovative programs to address women’s health issues in Tanzania,
- To conduct MEWATA 12th Annual General Meeting where members meet and review the progress of MEWATA and elect new MEWATA leaders.
She further noted that women have special needs and immense role to play in the community and the country in general; however there are many challenges that impact women’s health such as the health transition, social economic status of women (including gender inequalities) and limited access to quality health care services among other things.
She appreciated the efforts of the government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the international community in addressing health challenges that affect women in Tanzania saying that it is a significant move towards attaining of the Millennium Development Goals especially goal number 4 and 5 through utilisation of the essential obstetric packages to prevent maternal, neonatal and child deaths.
She informed the Guest of Honour that MEWATA also intends to utilise the meeting to review its strategic plan and determine the position of MEWATA as a professional association by identifying major activities to be incorporated in the plan. She further ensured the guest of honour that MEWATA will identify those activities and priorities with great care and with great consideration of women’s health.
To wind up her remarks, the chairperson conveyed her sincere gratitude to MEWATA partners who made the 12th AGM a possibility. A few worthy mentioning included the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, UNFPA, IPP Media Group, Intrahealth, Benjamin Mkapa AIDS Foundation and Extended Services Delivery (ESD).
Having said that, she once again t Thanked all members for supporting her and office bearers for the past six years and welcomed the guest of honour to issue her opening speech.
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