THE Swedish government has urged the government of Tanzania to engage private partners in ensuring that Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were achieved.
The Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Lennarth Hjelmaker said in Dar es Salaam that the major challenge has been control of infant mortality. "Tanzania has shown impressive efforts to address the challenge. More needs to be done especially improved partnership between the public and private sectors for the achievement of MDG 5," Ambassador Hjelmaker said.
The diplomat made the remarks when signing a supportive agreement where the government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) extends 11bn/- to Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT).
He said that the amount is given to CCBRT in support of its efforts to provide quality services for the disabled as well as safe maternal and newborn healthcare. Ambassador Hjelmaker said that Tanzania is among ten leading countries in the world with high levels of maternal and newborn deaths accounting for about 61 per cent off all the deaths.
"I have been informed that Tanzania still faces the challenge of neonatal deaths. For every woman who dies in child birth, around 20 more suffer injury, infection disease.....," he said. He added that Tanzania was still facing the burden of teenage pregnancies, with 29 per cent of rural girls aged 15-19 having given birth and that the use of contraceptives was still restricted to a very few young people in the age group.
The MDG 5's targets are to reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio and achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health. C
ommenting on the support extended to CCBRT, Mr Hjelmaker said that it would help in pushing further the government's commitment in MDG 5. The CCBRT Chief Executive Officer, Mr Erwin Telemans was thankful for the support saying that it had been received at the opportune time and would help in implementing CCBRT's core activities over the next two years.
"Sida will not only contribute towards CCBRT's disability services but also its maternal and newborn healthcare services, which are now a key component of CCBRT's work in Tanzania," he said; Adding; "Core funding is vital to the successful operation of an organisation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sida for its invaluable support which will greatly assist CCBRT in achieving the goals set by its new five year strategic plan," he concluded. The objectives of the core activities are based on the four strategic priorities set out in the CCBRT Strategy 2013-2017: These include, Long term impact, sustainable growth, capacity building and operational excellence.