T-MARC Tanzania applies its social marketing and behaviour change communication expertise to implement HIV/AIDS programmes that reach the most at risk Tanzanians across the country. These interventions offer target populations useful tools and information that influence behavioral change to safeguard individuals and families against HIV infection. Some of projects that T-MARC Tanzania has implemented with support of other partners include:
T-MARC Tanzania also trains and empowers parents to communicate with their pre-adolescent children about sexuality, reproductive health and avoidance of sexual risks. By overcoming communication barriers associated with discussing sexuality, T-MARC Tanzania promotes abstinence and supports adolescents to delay sexual activities together with health and psychological risks associated with it, thus halting the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst the youth in Tanzania.
T-MARC Tanzania promotes reproductive health and family planning by collaborating with other key stakeholders. These include the Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) and other partners. They work together to develop and disseminate information on reproductive health and family planning, train implementing teams, organize sensitization meetings and execute behavioral change and social marketing strategies.
Reproductive health addresses the reproductive processes, functions and systems at all stages of life. T-MARC Tanzania believes that people have the right to be informed of and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable modern family planning methods to ensure safe pregnancy, childbirth and healthy infants. In line with T-MARC Tanzania embarked on social marketing of Flexi P oral contraceptives in the country since September 2006.
T-MARC Tanzania has also successfully developed and utilised the national media to communicate behaviour change messages that address myths and misconceptions about family planning, provided information on reproductive health and methods of family planning. The Organization has also been promoting safe motherhood and encouraged women to seek assistance of family planning providers in choosing suitable methods. T-MARC Tanzania is also currently working with the MoHCDGEC and other partners in carrying out a Campaign to Accelerate Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Tanzania (CARMA).
The goal of T-MARC Tanzania’s child survival efforts is to improve the health of Tanzanian families by building capacities through reducing:
Dehydration resulting from childhood diarrhea is among the major causes of child mortality in Tanzania. Dehydration causes far too many deaths as a result of poor compliance with effective oral rehydration solution (ORS) treatment. Low osmolarity ORS and zinc have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) as effective treatments for childhood diarrhea and the effects of dehydration resulting there from.
In its efforts towards improving public health and the well being of Tanzanians, T-MARC Tanzania has been playing a key role in the fight against malaria which is the number one killer disease in the country.
T-MARC Tanzania was part the Kataa Malaria (Say No to Malaria) campaign in Zanzibar that was launched and implemented through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
Over 400,000 people were reached and 250,000 bed nets were distributed as a result of these activities. T-MARC Tanzania also implemented the phasing out of mono-therapy treatment and promotion of combined malaria treatment in the country.
Tanzania suffers one of the highest cervical cancer burdens in the world and is the leading country in East Africa in terms of cervical cancer cases. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer related morbidity and mortality of women in the country.
Limited knowledge amongst health care providers and the general public about cervical cancer burden, its causes, prevention and control services is one of the major challenges in implementing Tanzania’s National Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Strategic Plan (2011-2015).
To address this knowledge gap, T-MARC Tanzania introduced a special project aimed to reduce cervical cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality in Iringa region. This was through community mobilization screening of over 10,000 for cervical cancer.
Other activities included awareness creation on cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment services and increasing the uptake of existing services amongst women aged between 30 and 49 years.
It also involved the strengthening capacity of Tanzanian Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) to develop, implement and sustain outreach interventions that significantly increase awareness and uptake levels for cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment services.
T-MARC Tanzania supports the Government in its efforts to reduce underweight, stunting, and maternal and childhood anaemia. These conditions are caused by under nutrition due to insufficient food intake and deficiencies in diets, especially in the consumption and absorption of micronutrients such as vitamins A and B12; iron, zinc and folic acid.
Vitamin A deficiency is a significant public health problem in Tanzania with studies showing that it mostly affects children and women of childbearing age. An estimated 35 percent of Tanzanian children grow up with vitamin A deficiency which leads to lowered immunity, frequent illness and poor growth. Women of childbearing age are also at risk because of their increased need for the vitamins, both during pregnancy and during lactation. The prevalence of sub-clinical vitamin A deficiency in infants fed breast milk suggests that lactating women in Tanzania also have insufficient quantities of vitamin A in their bodies. The most obvious effects of vitamin A deficiency is progressive damage to the eye and eventually leading to blindness.
T-MARC Tanzania collaborated with Hellen Keller International to assist in the communication and implementation of the Marando Bora Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato Project in 13 districts of Mwanza, Kagera and Mara regions.
T-MARC Tanzania has also partnered with food processing industries together with non-profit organizations to support with the introduction of two micronutrient products i.e. Nutributter® and Plumpy’nut®, for infants aged between six (6) to twenty four (24) months old.
As part of this effort, T-MARC conducted an organoleptic study, to confirm taste preferences, and a usage study, to better understand adherence behaviours, and created a launch plan for the products that are expected in the market in the near future.
T-MARC Tanzania has been at the forefront in promoting Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in an effort to keep adolescent girls in school during their menses and therefore reduce truancy, and dropout rates in Mtwara and Lindi Regions. T-MARC has done this in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) primarily through development a training curriculum and training cadres of teachers as Trainer of Trainers (TOTs) through the Girl’s Empowerment Hakuna Wasochiweza Project which provided:
T-MARC Tanzania also has experience in social marketing water disinfectants in its portfolio that include provision of clean hand washing Interpersonal Sessions (IPCs) with targeted communities in Tanzania. The WASH-HIV Integration project was designed to build on existing safe drinking water projects and identify behavior change practices for water, sanitation, and hygiene to assist persons infected and affected by HIV/ AIDS.
The objective of the initiative was to ensure that People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and their families had safe drinking water (PuR and alternative approaches that are economically appropriate), hand washing, food hygiene and faeces management to prevent diarrheal disease.
These efforts focused on Lake Zone, eastern highlands, central (including Morogoro and Dodoma). T-MARC Tanzania developed a pilot project in Morogoro and created a community of practice composed of organizations working in HIV, water and sanitation and other relative health areas.
This pilot initiative introduced the concept of WASHHIV integration to introduce small feasible actions that households can take (soap, PuR, commode construction) to improving the WASH practices.