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Is Tanzania’s Adolescent Fertility Rate Three Times Higher Than Global Counterparts?

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The Comprehensive Community-Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT), an organization ​which works to provide affordable medical and rehabilitative services for mothers and newborns throughout Dar-es-Salaam, marked World Contraception Day on September 26 with a call for more efforts to meet the reproductive health needs of teens between 15 and 19 years old.

The report highlights a worrying statistic — Tanzania’s adolescents are having almost three times as many children on average as their global counterparts, with 135 births per 1000 girls reported in the country, compared to an average of 44 per 1000 girls aged 15–19 worldwide in 2015.

CCRBT attributes the high adolescent fertility rate to a lack of access to contraceptive services, with Technical Advisor for Nursing Bola Abbas saying, that only about 8 per cent of current family planning clients are between the ages of 15 to 19.

On a national scale, Abbas explains, demand for family planning among adolescent girls is still very low, with only one out of every three of those who are sexually active within the 15 to 19 age group using modern contraceptive methods.

So the question is, how does Tanzania’s adolescent fertility rate compare to that of the rest of the world?

Pesacheck investigated the claim that Tanzanian adolescents are having three times as many children as their peers in the rest of the world and found that the statement is TRUE for the following reasons:

Tanzania’s adolescent fertility numbers are rather high, with 4.4% of girls aged 15 having given birth according to the country’s Demographic and Health Survey.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for countries to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes by 2030.

The indicators for this goal are the proportion of women of reproductive age (15–49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods, and the adolescent birth rate (10–14 years and 15–19 years) per 1,000 women in that age group.

For several sub-Saharan countries, Tanzania included, access to modern family planning methods is low for this particular age group, and as a result, the regional average is 105 births per 1,000, which is more than double the global average.

Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics produced a national fertility and nuptiality report based on data from the 2012 national census, which shows that Adolescent Fertility Rate (AFR) was 81 births per 1,000 women aged 15–19.

The report further shows that in 2012, 23.3% of adolescent girls in the country had given birth to at least one child. Additionally, 42.2% of girls who had never attended school had given birth, compared to just 9% of those who had reached university.

This shows that there is a need for contraceptive access for teenage girls in Tanzania, especially for girls in rural areas and those with limited access to education.

The Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey 2015–16 indicates that 27% of girls aged 15–19 have given birth. Crude birth rates for girls aged 15–19 show that there 135 births per 1,000 girls in Mainland Tanzania and 132 per 1,000 girls in Zanzibar, way above the global average of 44. The data also shows that contraceptive access for this age group is also quite low, with 10.4% of girls aged 15–49 using any form of contraception.

It would therefore appear that the lack of access to contraceptives is contributing to the increased likelihood of adolescent girls getting pregnant.

So the claim by CCBRT that Tanzania’s adolescent fertility rate is almost three times the global average is TRUE. This is driven largely by a lack of access to contraceptives for young people in the 15–19 age group, and the relatively high levels of poverty that have driven many out of school and into early marriage.

As a result, the country is unlikely to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of overall good health and wellbeing of mothers unless it puts measures in place to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services for girls and women of all ages.

Do you want us to fact-check something a politician or other public figure has said about public finances? Complete this form, or reach out to us on any of the contacts below, and we’ll help ensure you’re not getting bamboozled.

This report was written by PesaCheck Fellow Belinda Japhet, a Communications Consultant, Online Editor based in Tanzania. The infographics are by PesaCheck Fellow Brian Wachanga, who is a Kenyan civic technologist interested in data visualisation. This report was edited by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.

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Afya

Watumishi wa afya 200 kupatiwa mafunzo ya utoaji dawa ya usingizi kuokoa maisha wajawazito

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Kufuatia upungufu wa wataalamu wa dawa za usingizi (anaesthesia), serikali itatoa mafunzo ya dawa za usingizi kwa watumishi wa afya 200 katika vituo vya afya vya upasuaji wa dharura kwa akina mama wajawazito.

Hatua hiyo inakuja ikiwa imepita miezi 6 baada ya Chuo Kikuu cha Afya na Sayansi Shirikishi Muhimbili (MUHAS) kutangaza kuanza kutoa shahada ya dawa ya usingizi (Bsc. Anaesthesia Nursing).

Katika taarifa iliyotolewa na Kitengo cha Mawasiliano serikalini cha Wizara ya Afya, Maendeleo ya Jamii, Jinsia, Wazee na Watoto, inaeleza kuwa mafunzo hayo yatatolewa sambamba na uboreshaji wa huduma ya upasuaji wa dharura kwa wajawazito ili kuokoa maisha ya wanawake na watoto ambao hufariki kwa kosa huduma muhimu za uzazi kwenye vituo vya afya.

“Mkakati wa kuhakikisha huduma za afya kwa akina mama wajawazito zinakuwa salama na uhakika kwa kuandaa rasilimali watu, miundombinu ya majengo na vifaa vitakavyowezesha huduma hizi ikiwemo upasuaji wa dharura kwa akina mama wajawazito wakati wa kujifungua,” imeeleza taarifa hiyo.

Kwa mujibu wa takwimu za Wizara ya Afya, vifo 556 vitokanavyo na uzazi kwa kila viumbe hai 100,000 huripotiwa kila mwaka katika maeneo mbalimbali nchini. Maana yake ni kwamba watoto na wajawazito hufariki hasa wakati wa mama akijifungua.

Aidha, serikali itaboresha vituo vya afya 288 vya serikali vilivyopo nchini ili kuviwezesha kutoa huduma ya dharura ya upasuaji kwa wajawazito ambapo waaguzi katika vituo hivyo watapatiwa mafunzo ya dawa za usingizi ili kuokoa maisha ya akina mama na watoto wachanga.

Utekelezaji wa mafunzo hayo ni matokeo ya ushirikiano wa Wizara ya Afya na Mfuko wa Pamoja wa Afya ambapo zaidi ya sh1,079 bilioni zimepatikana kufakisha mafunzo hayo ya dawa ya usingizi kwa wauguzi na matabibu waliopo kwenye vtuo vya afya nchini.

“Fedha hizo zitasomesha watumishi wapatao 200, kati ya watumishi hao 100 watapata mafunzo yao katika Hospitali ya Taifa Muhimbili na MOI, watumishi 50 watafanya mafunzo katika hospitali ya KCMC, na 50 watafanya mafunzo hayo kwenye hospitali ya Bugando,” imefafanua taarifa ya wizara.

Lengo la serikali ni kuhakikisha ifikapo 2019 na kabla ya 2020 vituo vyote vya afya vinavyomilikiwa na serikali vinakuwa na watumishi maalum wa kutoa huduma ya dawa ya usingizi kwaajili ya wapasuaji wasiopungua wawili kwa kila kituo.

Mafunzo hayo ya mwaka mmoja ni mpito wakati serikali ikiendelea kukamilisha taratibu za kurasimisha utoaji wa shahada ya kwanza ya kutoa dawa ya usingizi katika Chuo cha MUHAS katka mwaka huu wa 2018/2019.

Hali halisi ya huduma ya dawa za usingizi nchini
Takwimu za wizara ya Afya zinaonyesha kuwa kuna upungufu mkubwa wa madaktari wenye utaalamu wa kutoa dawa ya usingizi hasa wakati wa huduma ya upasuaji ambapo kwa sasa waliopo ni asilimia 1.2 tu ya mahitaji yote.

Ili kuweza kukidhi mahitaji yote ya huduma hiyo wanahitajika madaktari 2000, lakini waliopo sasa ni madaktari 30 pekee.

Kufuatia changamoto hiyo Januari 31, mwaka huu wadau mbalimbali wa afya na elimu walikutana na kujadili namna ya kuondoa changamoto hiyo na kupendekeza mtaala utakaotumika kufundishia kozi ya Aesthesia kabla ya kuupeleka kwa Tume ya Vyuo Vikuu Nchini (TCU).

” Ni kweli kumekuwepo kwa changamoto hiyo ya watalaamu wa dawa hizo lakini sasa mpango huu ukikamilika maana yake tutaongeza idadi ya madaktari kamili maana hawa waliopo wengi ni wale ambao wamesoma kozi kwa mwaka mmoja au miwili.

” Mafunzo yakianza kutolewa hapa chuoni Muhimbili wataweza kuchukua wanafunzi 200, Bugando 50 na KCMC 50 jambo ambalo litaongeza idadi kubwa ya watalaamu ili kuweza kufikia lengo letu la kuwa na wataalamu 2000 nchi nzima,” alinukuliwa Katibu Mkuu wa Wizara ya Afya, Jinsia, Wazee na Watoto, Dk Mpoki Ulisubisya.

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Afya

Vyakula hivi vitakulinda dhidi ya athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hewa

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Tunaishi katika ulimwengu unaokabiliwa na athari kubwa za mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa. Moja ya athari hizo ni kuongezeka kwa joto na kupungua kwa mvua katika maeneo mbalimbali. Athari hizi zinagusa moja kwa moja afya ya binadamu.

Ripoti ya mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa ya mwaka 2017 imeonesha kuwa kuongezeka kwa joto kunaathiri afya ya binadamu kwa kiasi kikubwa. Ripoti hiyo inatoka kundi la vyuo mbalimbali na mashirika tofauti ya Umoja wa Mataifa inasema watu wengi wanaathirika na joto pamoja na mlo hafifu sambamba na kusambaa kwa magonjwa.

Moja ya kisababishi cha mabadiliko ya hali ya hewa ni uchafuzi wa anga. Uchafuzi wa anga ni kuchanganyika kwa hewa asili katika anga na vitu kama vile moshi, majivu, gesi za kemikali katika hali na kiwango ambacho huathiri sifa ya hewa na kusababisha madhara kwa binadamu na viumbe vingine.

Baadhi ya vitu na vitendo huathiri vibaya anga letu. Baadhi ya vitu hivyo ni kama gesi na moshi unaotoka kwenye viwanda, moshi kutoka kwenye magari, marashi, dawa ya kuuwa wadudu shambani na kadhalika.

Lakini umewahi kujiuliza kuwa aina ya chakula unachokula kinaweza kukusaidia kukabiliana na athari za kiafya zinazotokana na uchafuzi wa hewa?

Wanasayansi katika utafiti wao uliotolewa hivi karibuni, wanaeleza ulaji wa chakula cha Mediterania ( Mediterranean diet) chenye matunda mengi, mbogamboga, nafaka isiyokobolewa, samaki, maharage jamii ya soya, mafuta ya mizeituni na mayai yanaweza kuwalinda watu dhidi ya athari za afya zinazotokana na uchafuzi wa hewa.

Wanasayansi hao kutoka Shule kuu ya Udaktari ya NYU ya Marekani, walichambua data za watu takribani 550,000 wenye wastani wa umri wa miaka 62 kwa miaka zaidi ya 17 ambapo waliwapanga watu hao kwenye makundi kulingana na ulaji wao unaoendana na chakula cha Mediterania na kulinganisha na muda waliokaa kwenye hewa iliyochafuliwa.

Walibaini kuwa watu ambao walizingatia kula vyakula vilivyotajwa hapo juu walikuwa na uwezekano mkubwa wa kuepuka magonjwa na vifo vinavyotokana na uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa. Magonjwa hayo ni yale ya mfumo wa upumuaji, moyo na kansa.

                                   Vyakula  jamii ya Mediterania

Vyakula hivyo jamii ya Mediterania vina uwezo mkubwa wa kukabiliana na vimelea vya maambukizi ya magonjwa kwa mtu ambaye atazingatia kwa usahihi kutumia katika maisha yake.

Uchafuzi wa hewa unasababisha athari mbaya za kiafya kupitia hewa ukaa na mlo wa Mediterania una virutubisho muhimu kupambana na vimelea vya magonjwa,” anasema Mwandishi Mtafiti wa utafiti huo, Chris Lim wa Chuo cha NYU.

Lim anasema vyakula vya aina nyingine vinaweza kusaidia kukabiliana na athari hiyo. “Nilipoangalia kila mchanganyiko wa chakula cha Mediterania, kina matunda, mbogamboga na mafuta yanayoweza kupambana na athari za hewa chafu,” anasema.

Utafiti kuhusu ulaji kama unaweza kuzuia athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hewa bado haujahakikiwa na kukubalika kisayansi. Lakini utafiti huo sio wa kwanza kutafuta uhusiano wa mlo na athari za kiafya za uchafuzi wa hali ya hewa.

Wakala wa Uhifadhi wa Mazingira wa Marekani (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) unatafiti kama mlo unaweza kumlinda mtu dhidi ya athari za uchafuzi wa mazingira. Pia wanatafiti ili kujiridhisha kama virutubisho hivyo vinaweza kutumika badala ya dawa za kitabibu na kwa kiasi gani mtu anatakiwa apate virutubisho hivyo kumhakikishia usalama dhidi ya uchafuzi huo.

Hata hivyo, bado watu wanashauriwa kutumia zaidi matunda na mbogamboga kwenye milo yao ya kila siku ili kupata faida mbalimbali za kiafya.

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Afya

Ulaji mbaya wa chakula watajwa kusababisha kansa ya matiti kwa wanawake

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Thamani ya maisha haiko kwenye muonekano wa mtu na vitu vinavyomzunguka bali kwenye chakula anachokula kila siku ili kuwa na afya njema. Lakini umewahi kujiuliza, chakula kinawezaje kupunguza uwezekano wa kufa kutokana na magonjwa ikiwemo kansa?

Utafiti mpya uliofanyika huko Marekani umebaini kuwa kwa sehemu mlo kamili unaweza kupunguza hatari ya kufa kwa kansa.

Mtafiti Dk. Rowan Chlebowski wa Kituo cha Taifa cha Uuguzi cha City of Hope na wenzake walichambua takwimu za wanawake 48,000 waliosajiliwa katika mpango wa Afya ya Mwanamke unaoratibiwa katika vituo 40 nchini Marekani.

Awali wanawake wote walipata vipimo na hakuna aliyegundulika kuwa na kansa ya matiti lakini 20,000 kati yao walishauriwa kubadilisha mlo na kupunguza ulaji wa mafuta kwa asilimia 20 katika milo yao ya kila siku.

Pia waliambiwa wale zaidi matunda, mbogamboga na nafaka zisizokobolewa. Wanawake wengine hawakupewa maelekezo yoyote ya kuzingatia mlo kamili lakini walifundishwa kuhusu lishe nzuri na mlo wenye afya.

Baada ya miaka nane ya kuwafuatilia wanawake hao, watafiti hao waliangalia idadi ya kansa ambazo wanawake hao walitibiwa na zile ambazo zilisababisha vifo. Walibaini kuwa wanawake ambao walitumia kiasi kidogo cha mafuta walikuwa na hatari ndogo ya kufa kwa kansa ya matiti kwa asilimia 22, ukilinganisha na wanawake wengine.

Pia wanawake hao walipunguza kwa asilimia 24 hatari ya kufa kwa kansa zingine ikiwemo kwa 38%  magonjwa ya moyo ikilinganishwa na wanawake wa kundi ambalo walipata elimu ya mlo.

“Tunachokiona ni matokeo halisi,” anasema Dk. Chlebowski. Tafiti za awali ziliangalia madhara kabla ya uchunguzi wa kansa, lakini utafiti huu ulichambua kwa kiasi gani mlo unaweza kumuathiri mtu baada ya uchunguzi.

“Tulichobaini ni kuwa ushauri wa mlo baada ya uchunguzi wa kansa ya matiti ulikuwa muhimu kuliko kabla ya uchunguzi.”

                        Ulaji wa matunda na mboga unasaidia kupunguza hatari ya kupata kansa

Hata hivyo, utafiti huo ulibaini kuwa wanawake ambao wanazingatia kutumia kiasi kidogo cha mafuta katika maisha yao wana nafasi kubwa ya kuepuka kansa ya matiti.

Kutokana na idadi ya watu walioshirikishwa kwenye utafiti huo, Dkt. Chlebowski anasema wazo la kuhusisha mlo katika programu ya matibabu lilikuwa ni muhimu ili kupata matokeo chanya katika kukabiliana na kansa ya matiti kwa wanawake.

Watafiti hao wanaendelea na uchunguzi ili kufahamu kama ulaji wa chakula unaweza kuwa sehemu ya matibabu ya kansa ya matiti. “Inahamasisha kwasababu tunajaribu kuziba pengo kati ya mtindo wa maisha na mchakato wa kibaiolojia uliopo nyuma ya ugonjwa huo.”

 

Kansa ya matiti

Saratani ya matiti ni ugonjwa ambao huwapata wanawake na unatokana na athari za chembe ndogo ama seli kwenye matiti na matokeo yake ni kwamba hubadili mfumo wa kawaida wa kukua na kuongezeka.

Mabadiliko haya huanza polepole na yanaweza yakachukua muda mrefu hadi mtu kuweza kujua kama ana matatizo hayo. Ikiwa katika hatua hizo za mwanzo kwa kawaida huwa hakuna maumivu jambo hilo ni moja ya mambo ambayo huchangia baadhi ya wagonjwa kubaini tatizo hilo wakati tayari limekomaa.

Ni kutokana na sababu hizo, wanawake hutakiwa kuchunguza afya zao mara kwa mara kwasababu ugonjwa huweza kutibiwa kirahisi iwapo utabainika mapema.

Miongoni mwa dalili za saratani ya matiti ni uvimbe kwenye matiti ama makwapani. Titi kubadilika kiumbo, titi kutoa majimaji yaliyochanganyika na damu ama chuchu kuingia ndani.

Zipo aina mbalimbali za tiba na mojawapo ni upasuaji. Upasuaji huu kwa kawaida hufanywa katika hatua za mwanzo. Njia nyingine ni tiba ya mionzi au kupewa dawa. Jambo la kukumbukwa ni kwamba ugonjwa huu unaweza kusababisha kifo iwapo hautabainika mapema na kupatiwa tiba mwafaka.

Njia ambayo mtu aweza kujilinda asiathirike na saratani hii ya matiti ni kujichunguza mara kwa mara ili kubaini mapema na kupatiwa dawa.

Mwanamke anapaswa kuchunguzwa mara moja kwa mwaka ili kuona kama ameathirika na ugonjwa huo au la.

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