Pastoralist women are one of the poorest of the poor and marginalized groups across the globe. This factor coupled with inadequate and very under-resourced health facilities across the remote pastoralist villages of northern Tanzania, as well complex gender relations and practices in their communities, has created serious impediments to women’s general health and wellbeing. Taking this into account, PWC is implementing a sexual reproductive health (SRH) project in its target areas to improve access to accurate health information and improve the utilization of sexual reproductive services in these communities.
Five villages, namely Piyaya, Engaresero and Malambo in Sale division as well as Ormekeke and Kakesio in Ngorongoro division were identified to receive sensitization forums based on the need to raise awareness on SRH and covid-19 as well the remoteness of these localities. The sensitization forums were implemented and were all very well received reaching a total of 460 pastoralists community members (230 women and 230 men) with citizens asking for more forums to be hosted.
Limited access to health services was noted in most villages because health facilities are overstretched, have inadequate resources and the few health personnel that are present in these facilities often cannot speak the language of the locals which hinders diagnosis and medical intervention.
In regard to sexual reproductive health, adolescent sexuality is still considered a taboo topic in these communities and therefore parents do not discuss menstruation, sexual relations, pregnancy or STDs with their children. A total of 150 secondary school girls in Arash, Natron, Malambo, Ngorongoro Girls and Embarway Secondary Schools (5 out of the targeted 10) and their matrons/mentors have received education on their sexual and reproductive rights. Check out this video about a mentoring and SRHR session with students at ESS https://youtu.be/fDVDtxkIOPA
“As a pastoralist lady who understands these communities well, I was very impressed with the girls” Dr. Angela Maipuke