Dar es Salaam. The government has shown commitment to expanding access to family planning by raising the life-saving services budget from Sh5 billion in 2016/17 to Sh14 billion in the current fiscal year.
This was revealed yesterday in Dar es Salaam during an event to mark World Population Day.
Speaking during the event, a representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Hashina Begum, lauded Tanzania for its commitment to increasing the availability of modern contraceptive methods.
This comes at a time when efforts aim at reaching 4.3 million more women and girls by the year 2020 up from the current level of 3.8 million.
Highlighting on the day’s theme: ‘Family Planning: Empowering People. Developing Nations,” Dr Begum said Tanzania had specifically ensured the availability of at least three modern contraceptive methods at primary level and at least five at secondary and tertiary levels from 40 per cent to 70 per cent.
She was upbeat that the government was going to scale-up the number of health facilities providing youth-friendly reproductive health services from 30 to 80 per cent.
During the event, the acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Ederly and Children, Dr Otilia Gowele, said the efforts were part of the wider plans by the country to attain the middle income status.
She noted that through family planning, the country can get competent people with ability to compete nationally and globally.
“So far we don’t just need health services, education and infrastructure but, what we need is good health services that would help to maintain or reduce population increase,” she said.
Over the years, there have been calls by family planning campaigners urging the government to prioritise the provision of contraceptives services. This was, despite that the country’s population has been increasing.
In 1961 the country’s population was between 9 million and 12.5 million, however, according to the 2012 census the population has increased to over 45 million people.