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
- To engage in national-level awareness-raising activities that highlight the importance of male involvement in HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
- To promote national policies and strategies that support men’s roles as facilitators of family health (i.e. men, women and children).
- To promote organizational (e.g. health facilities and workplaces) policies that support men’s roles as facilitators of family health.
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
- TACAIDS (Tanzania Commission for AIDS) *
- NACP (National AIDS Control Program) *
- RCHS (Reproductive and Child Health Services) *
- HDT (Human Development Trust) *
- MEWATA (Medical Women’s Association of Tanzania) *
- Tanzania Interfaith Partnership *
- NACOPHA (National Council for People Living with HIV and AIDS)
- WISE (Women in Social Entrepreneurship)
- UMATI (Tanzania Family Planning Association)
- Jhpiego *
- UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) *
- RFSU (Swedish Organization for Sexual Enlightenment) *
- CARE International *
- Pathfinder International *
- Plan International
- EngenderHealth (CHAMPION and ATP Projects) *
- AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation)
- The Balm in Gilead (Tanzania)
- Marie Stopes *
- IntraHealth International
- FHI (Family Health International)
* 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.
- MenEngage Tanzania is a strong, diverse network, successfully established thanks to CHAMPION’s extensive mapping and assessment of potential partners. Clear roles and responsibilities have been jointly defined for all members, as well as detailed annual action plans that guide the network’s activities. The annually rotating steering committee provides each member organization with a sense of ownership and subsequently enhancing their skills and leadership in network coordination.
- MenEngage Tanzania is a facilitator of learning, continuously developing a community of practice on engaging men in health care. This is achieved through the facilitation of a variety of learning sessions on working with men, analyzing policies and programs through a gendered lens, and implementing advocacy plans.
- MenEngage is an active public advocate, recently establishing a subcommittee to work the media around male engagement in PMTCT as part of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s five year national plan. MenEngage Tanzania conducts interviews on television and radio, submits newspaper articles and letters to the editor for publication, and works with high profile figures to publically discuss engaging men in PMTCT.
FGM in Tarime
Female genital mutilation (FGM) affects 15% of women in Tanzania. In the district of Tarime more than 50% of women are victims of this inhumane brutality – that is about 5 in 10 women. This documentary by our partners, Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF), a non-governmental, non-partisan and non-profit-making children’s rights organisation that acts as the Secretariat of MenEngage Tanzania, shows the courageous women and men standing up and fighting against FGM in the east African country.
The True Story of Ghati and Rhobi
“The True Story of Ghati and Rhobi” is a short animated film aimed at raising awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM). It tells the inspirational story of two girls, Ghati and Rhobi, resisting their community’s practice of FGM. They show courage by saying no to a practice that they heard would be painful and that some girls die from. With the help of community elders, they change the way their community treats a girl’s transition into womanhood by ending the practice. The video was developed by FORWARD and Animage Films, in partnership with Children’s Dignity Forum (CDF), the Secretariat for the MenEngage Africa network in Tanzania.