PARTICIPATION of men in reproductive health programmes in Tanga Region has risen from 0 per cent last year to 11.4 per cent this year.
The increase is attributed to intensive reproductive health education to the public conducted by primary health attendants at different levels in the region. The percentage increased after women who attended maternal clinics opted to come with their husbands.
Speaking in an interview with 'Daily News', the Assistant Regional Coordinator of the Reproductive Health and Child Care Department, Ms Getrude Kaupunda, said in previous years, men were reluctant to accompany their wives to clinics.
According to her, the situation has changed after intensive education and sensitization campaigns. Ms Kaupunda said men were advised to accompany their wives to maternal clinics, so that they could receive the advice delivered by health attendants.
"We have recorded a good result this year, until October this year, about 11.4 per cent of men whose wives attended clinics accompany them. This is a good achievementÉ we will continue to spread education to the public," she said. She praised the health teams for their efforts of educating and sensitizing men, efforts which had started to bear fruits.
She, however, said that their intention was to reach about 100 per cent, that is, all pregnant women attending clinics have to be accompanied by their husbands, and that can be reached through sustainable education programmes.
Explaining why many men do not want to accompany their wives to clinics, Ms Kaupunda said most of them claim that they are busy. She further said that some men fear to adopt family planning programmes.
"We know that the community has different perspectives on the issues of reproductive health and family planning but I am sure that through education things will be okay and in fact we have started to record achievement on it," she pointed out.