Like most other sub-Saharan countries, Tanzania suffers from a high maternal and child mortality. A lack of or insufficient basic medical care, a low awareness level, structural malnutrition as well as certain cultural perceptions, which are sometimes in contradiction with modern medical findings, ultimately have lead to this situation.
The qualitative improvement of medical care through training and education of medical staff is a central approach in this regard. This element of the program serves to further qualify health workers in Singida, who already work in the civil service.
At the same time, four-day continuing education courses on the topics of pregnancy, birth and newborns will be offered at local health stations. Both of the trainers work at the local hospital in Singida town; one of them is the only gynecologist in the whole region of Singida.
The health stations are quite often inadequately equipped with medical-technical equipment. At this point, the project should provide targeted and needs-based support. Some health stations have no water (problems in the course of births and hygiene issues in general) or no power connection (problems in the course of births at night). In order to tackle these problems, affordable solutions should be found, for example, solar systems for rainwater collection.
Outreach & Nutrition
Health workers are rarely available in sufficient numbers. To address this problem, so-called community health workers have been committed. Once a week, they support the health workers directly at the health station and go from door to door in the village (outreach).
The Community Health Workers hold short trainings on healthy and sufficient supplementary diets for infants from 7 months of age. Up to this age, breast milk is totally sufficient for the infant’s well-being. Particularly low-income families with children facing malnutrition are supplied with oatmeal for three months in order to produce a nourishing porridge. Additionally, a program dealing with vegetable gardens will be launched to support a balanced diet especially for infants.
The projects support the upskilling of midwives and nurses and better-equipped health stations. Campaigns dealing with maternal and child mortality and malnutrition save lives.
For years SCSS has been supporting the construction and equipping of additional classrooms. As part of the 2018 evaluation, this support was given top priority by the respective village population. Although infrastructure projects in the area of Regional Cooperation have been deliberately pushed back in recent years, there is still a strong need for them.
The “school package”, a combination of a building with 2 classrooms separated by a teacher’s office and a water tank for rainwater collection as well as a latrine block for girls and boys, including the possibility to wash hands has proven very successful.
Teachers are usually not from the village in which they work, but from other parts of the country. Their salaries are normally low and therefore renting a small room in the village is a financial burden; additionally, privacy is hardly given. Schools without teaching quarters are unattractive to most teachers. In order to keep teachers at the school and to get more teachers assigned by the school authority, it is necessary to provide housing for them.
Quality of education
Many classes consist of 60 to 100 students. Reasonable teaching under these conditions is hardly possible. The reduction of the number of school pupils is thus a central concern of Regional Cooperation. However, more teachers have to be assigned by the school authority, otherwise one teacher has to teach two classes at the same time, which will not necessarily increase the quality of the teaching. A close cooperation between the school and the school authority is therefore absolutely necessary.
For years, CIP and SCSS have been offering continuing education courses for teachers of English and Mathematics. The two subjects were chosen because the success rate in Standard Seven Exams in these two subjects in the Singida region is particularly poor by national standards.
In cooperation with the instructors at the teachers’ college in Kinampanda (Teachers Training College – TTC), further education modules are developed and offered based on the wishes and needs of the teachers.
In order to strengthen the quality of education, additional teaching materials for the subjects English and Mathematics are provided and so-called clubs (for individual in-depth studies) are supported.
The educational projects support the continuing education of teachers in Mathematics and English, the accessibility of necessary teaching materials and the improvement of the infrastructure of elementary and secondary schools through the construction of school classes, rainwater tanks and latrines.
Increased quality of life
In addition to the two sectors of intervention health and education, CIP and SCSS have for some years been implementing a series of sometimes smaller activities, collectively referred to as community development.
These activities include the construction of vegetable gardens or smokeless and more energy-efficient stoves, the promotion of savings- and micro-credit systems (VICOBA), the construction of water reservoirs (Charko dam) for the dry season or the promotion of commercial chicken farming.
Since autumn 2018, commercial chicken farming has become a priority topic. On the one hand, this is due to the successful implementation in the program villages during the past phase and, on the other hand, to the conviction that there are substantial potentials for income, especially for women. In order to increase the amount of women benefitting from this project, so-called ToT (Training of Trainers) will be assigned in order to continue the project.
The availability of water is a constant issue in the dry region of Singida. As part of the community development, water reservoirs (Charko dam) and water tanks for rainwater collection are being built. The water sector will also stay a top priority in the future.
The construction of drinking water systems and water reservoirs, the initiatives to strengthen local entrepreneurship (such as commercial chicken farming) or small scale projects such as vegetable growing, improved stoves or savings- and micro-credit systems are projects in the field of community development.