GOVT ADMITS ADOLESCENT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CHALLENGING

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AfricaPress-Tanzania: REPRODUCTIVE health education for adolescent youth still remains a challenge making them become susceptible to complex health and socioeconomic challenges, the government has said.

“Our country has one of the highest adolescent birth rates in the world at 132 per 1,000 adolescent girls (aged between 15 and 19), said the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Professor Mabula Mchembe.

He made the revelation, while gracing a three-day- 21st Joint Annual Health Sector Technical Review workshop in Dodoma on Tuesday.

According to the PS, to address adolescent the challenges, the government in collaboration with stakeholders have scaled up Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services in 2,224 public health facilities and conducted 603 adolescent outreach services in Ruvuma, Rukwa, Katavi, Tabora, Tabora and Dar es Salaam.

“We urge stakeholders to support the government on designing interventions that are youth friendly in the health facilities as a means to addressing the identified challenges,’’ added Prof Mchembe.

Elaborating, he noted that health financing continues to be a concern since the improvement of health status of the population largely depends on funding.

Statistics show that about 70 per cent of the population is not insured with any form of Health Insurance resulting in a burden of high payments, which might cause impoverishment due to catastrophic health expenditure.

However, the PS said the government was finalising a long awaited Bill on Mandatory Social National Health Insurance and that it will continue to focus on efficient management of resources.

Tuesday’s meeting was conducted under the theme ‘People- Centred Care Approach is Crucial in Transformation of Health Service Delivery in Tanzania’.

According to Prof Mchembe, the government was striving to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) since it underpins the achievement of target for SDG Goal number 3.

“The UHC agenda is built around the need to ensure every individual is healthy enough to contribute to their personal, community and National Development,’’ he added.

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