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Georgie Nettleton

Youth Now

By | AIO | No Comments
Young people have the potential to shape and influence their future and that of their communities. They are the next generation of leaders, captains of industry, parents and teachers and are an indispensable human resource for countries in which they live. To achieve their full potential, national governments, corporates, civil societies and international agencies needs to invest in youth now to adequately equip them for the future.
Research indicates that young people between the age of 10-24 years of age constitute for 33% of the population in Africa. 63% of Tanzanians are below the age of 25 making them a crucial social capital and potential human force. If invested in and nurtured, youth can be positive agents of change and the bedrock for socio-economic development of a nation.

 

“The investments we make in youth today will determine how they lead us into tomorrow. That is why we have built a youth-friendly, relatable platform specifically designed for adolescents to access key life skills.” Rebecca Young, Founder AIO.
In saying that, the transitional path from childhood to adulthood is a perilous one for youth with obstacles that threaten to distract, derail and even destroy young people’s aspirations and in some cases, their lives. Public services do not always speak the language of young people and for many, they feel unapproachable spaces that lack youth-friendly staff. Peer pressure, poverty, drug and substance abuse, sexual abuse, child marriage, early pregnancy, physical violence and micro nutrient deficiency are real challenges youth need key life skills in order to navigate well during this fragile time.

 

Rachel, a Jipange intern researching gender violence before interviewing professionals on the subject.

Africa Inside Out incubated a multi-media digital platform in 2019 called ‘JIPANGE’ which means ‘get prepared’ in Kiswahili. The Skills for Life platform designed for young people, by young people will provide useful information and guidance on issues ranging from healthy relationships, talent and entrepreneurship, job seeking, health and social welfare services and citizenship.
The JIPANGE content that has been engineered by Tanzanian youth for Tanzanian youth during a 6 month internship program at AIO has developed content that it is relevant, relatable and resonates amongst young people.

 

Neema recording an audio play on safe sex after participating in a workshop with Doctors and Health Professionals.
The platform which is essentially a peer-to-peer content provider immediately connects young people to the brand and provides them with key life skills through music, theatre and audio plays, podcasts discussions, interviews with professionals and template downloads.
His Excellency, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, 4th President of Tanzania visiting the JIPANGE team to see first hand how the youth are creating content for their peers.

Amplifying the Demand for Midwives

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The global call for attention to midwifery as a profession and as a solution to preventing unnecessary maternal and neonatal mortaility has been building momentum over the past decade. The conversation that started among global and national midwifery associations was supported and echoed in academic literature and by global development agencies.
In recent years countries including Cambodia, Indonesia and Morocco have taken policy action to invest more in midwives. The results have seen significant improvement in their maternal and newborn indices.
Well trained, qualified midwives are a crucial low-investment, low-risk, high-yield resource that prevent maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality. Midwives can, if supported to task, play a unique role within their communities as part of the integrated health system, providing 87% of the essential care needed by women and newborns – potentially preventing two thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths.
Tanzania is a large country with 70% of its 53 million population residing in rural areas. Access to fully equipped health facilities remains a challenge and many women still experience complications as a result of not being able to give birth under the qualified supervision of a competent health practitioner. It is estimated that 8,000 women currently die every year and more than 1 million births take place in the absence of a qualified midwife.
We have spent the past 18 months understanding the current, interlinking complexities that are at play which have contributed to the current increase in maternal and newborn deaths in Tanzania. Training and recruitment, access, affordability, availability of medical supplies, cultural practices and quality of care each play a critical role and thus a collective effort is in order to achieve sustainable change for mothers and newborns.
Working closely with The Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDEC) there is without doubt, a strong political will to accelerate progress in reducing maternal mortality. Within the framework of the National Road Map 2016-2020, The Government is making strides to improve emergency and obstetric care facilities and distribute critical commodities such as surgical gloves and magnesium sulphate to health facilities country-wide. The MoHCDEC’s request for a budget increase was approved to specifically focus on strengthening maternal and newborn health services and on The International Day of the Midwife 2017, The Vice President of Tanzania, Honourable Samia Suluhu with The Minister of Health (MoHCDEC), Dr. Ummy Mwalimu announced that the government would review the nurse-midwife curriculum and explore the notion of making midwifery a stand alone profession. All of which reflect the Lancet report urging policy makers to improve effective coverage of reproductive, maternal and newborn health care while simultaneously improving the quality of care.
The growing commitment to this health priority has been further re-inforced by the highly respected advocate, The 4th President of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who has announced that The Jakaka Mrisho Kikwete Foundation will focus on strengthening midwifery in Tanzania and collaborate with the government and health partners in achieving sustainable gains.
At a time where political will is fully charged and with the count down to 2030 upon us, it is also a critical time for the international donor community to come together in support of the government’s aspirations to amplify the demand and number of midwives in Tanzania so that every pregnant woman has access to this cadre.