Celebrate Solutions: The ACQUIRE Project in Tanzania

By: Mariko Rasmussen, Program Assistant at Women Deliver

tanzania.gifThe Eastern African country of Tanzania borders the Indian Ocean and sits between Kenya and Mozambique. Much of the population lives in rural areas and the maternal mortality ratio in 2008 was 790 deaths per 100,000 live births. Although contraceptive prevalence in Tanzania has increased over the last few decades, unmet need remains high, and one result of high unmet need is the problem of unsafe abortion, which contributes significantly to maternal deaths. A project that has been working to improve maternal health in Tanzania is doing so by advancing and supporting the availability, quality, and use of facility based reproductive health and family planning services. The ACQUIRE Project – Access, Quality, and Use in Reproductive Health – was a five year global project funded by USAID beginning in 2003. While global work ended in 2008, work continues in several countries around the world, including Tanzania, through USAID Associate Awards.

EngenderHealth leads the ACQUIRE Tanzania Project (ATP) through a five-year (2007-2012) Associate Award, partnering with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other groups to reach over 4,700 health facilities throughout the mainland and Zanzibar to make lasting improvements in reproductive health care. The ATP works in family planning, reproductive health, postabortion care, and HIV services for pregnant women, by implementing a model that synchronizes supply, demand, and advocacy needs.

The ATP focuses on expanding contraceptive options, increasing access to postabortion care services, engaging men as partners, and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The project’s achievements to date are laudable. They include training 14,676 health care professionals to provide long-term and permanent methods of contraception (LA/PMs), comprehensive postabortion care, and PMTCT services, distributing LA/PMs to 202,345 clients, and reaching 6,200 clients for postabortion care through expanded service availability. Over 82,000 women received PMTCT services, and 90% of women who received prenatal care also received voluntary HIV testing. Twenty-nine health facilities have been renovated, building waiting areas, rooms for postabortion care, minilaparotomy theaters, family planning rooms, labor wards, and postnatal wards.

The ATP has experienced much success in revitalizing and integrating family planning services, enhancing quality of care, and scaling up proven approaches. The project has built on the successes of previous reproductive health/family planning efforts in Tanzania to bring about even greater improvements in the health of the population.

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Entry Comments

    • Nov 27
    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    It is inspiring to see the work that is being completed by the ACQUIRE project. I am an RN and I am encouraged by the enormous amount of work in maternity health that has been accomplished especially in Tanzania. Education and access to services are two key components to increasing the viability and health of a community. I am astounded by the numbers of HCP’s that have been trained and the facilities that have been impacted by these projects. It is interesting that the use of contraceptives and supportive services are still the standard to help decrease the number of HIV cases and deaths. We have been using these interventions for many years yet we continue to have many nations and communities that are impacted daily by this deadly virus.

    • Nov 29
    • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    It is exciting to hear about the work being accomplished by the Acquire project. It is so impressive to see the numbers of health providers that have been trained to assist those impacted by the conditions in Tanzania. As an RN, I understand the importance of providing not anly supplies and personnel but education as well. Do you find that the women of these developing nations are receptive to the educational interventions provided by this project? How do the providers help the women of Tanzania to integrate this new information into their cultural beliefs and values? Maternal and sexual health are such personal topics it must be difficult to have the women open up and talk about these sensitive issues.

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