Tanzania is a country in East Africa with a coastline on the Indian Ocean. It is bordered by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Its name derives from the name of the two states: Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which united in 1964 to form one country. The major economic, political and commercial city of Tanzania is the coastal city of Dar es Salaam, although the official capital is Dodoma. Tanzania has an estimated population of 45 million.
In Tanzania, there is increasing recognition of the potential role that men play as supporters and partners in women’s health-seeking, such as the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) services, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), home-based care (HBC), antenatal care (ANC) visits and family planning (FP). Experiences in the community and with health workers have found that health providers are not equipped with the skills to counsel both men and women together in the context of HIV counseling and testing. Although policies and guidelines now exist that encourage couple counseling, capacity of providers and the quality of the services in this respect is still low. Standard operating procedures, job aids and training materials are a few resources that would better operationalize the inclusion of men in health services.
Given the opportunities that exist, MenEngage Tanzania aims to strengthen the accessibility of health services to promote men as partners in gender equity, HIV prevention and improved reproductive health outcomes, through the promotion of policies and actions that engage men. Formed in 2008, the network was later re-launched in 2011 by the Secretariat (CHAMPION Project – EngenderHealth) to create a network built around common advocacy priorities with a clear agenda, purpose and identity.
Purpose of the activities at country level
MenEngage Tanzania has a dedicated team of 22 member organizations, representing Government of Tanzania departments and local and international organizations. As Secretariat, CHAMPION successfully coordinates quarterly general meetings, monthly steering committee meetings and all other network activities within Tanzania. A formal terms of reference outlines the roles and responsibilities of network members, with an annually rotating steering committee.
MenEngage Tanzania Members
* Steering Committee Members
MenEngage Tanzania is a strong, diverse network with shared goals and policy priorities, a facilitator of learning and skills-building for engaging men in health services and advocacy, and an active public advocate for engaging men in the health of Tanzanians.
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