November 23, 2015
In September 2015, the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU), which oversees the establishment and monitoring of the country’s higher learning institutions (HLIs), committed to a nationwide policy change to mandate sexual and reproductive health service provision in all 52 of Tanzania’s HLIs.
AFP Tanzania facilitated a meeting with the TCU to present the impact of HLI-interventions and examine what the TCU could do to lead such efforts. Since 2014, AFP Tanzania has collaborated with 13 HLIs in the rural regions of Mwanza and Shinyanga to improve their students’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. The initiative is poised to benefit over 18,000 students in the two regions.
HLI leaders from Mwanza, Shinyanga, and Zanzibar; service providers focusing on HLIs in the Morogoro, Singida, Dodoma, Mwanza and Rukwa regions; and representatives from Funguo, a Jhpiego Kenya program targeting universities, attended the meeting with the TCU.
The convening resulted in several commitments:
- The TCU will issue guidance and directives to ensure sexual and reproductive health information is available in HLIs across the country through training manuals, health service protocols, and mandate administrations to make family planning and other sexual and reproductive health services available to the students.
- Family planning partners will further coordinate their efforts to improve communication and share expertise and lessons learned in order to better reach HLIs.
- The HLIs will collaborate to introduce sexual and reproductive health content in curricula and provide information and services.
AFP Tanzania (United Nations Association Tanzania, Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs Tanzania, and Health Promotion Tanzania) will continue working with the TCU to ensure that directives mandating family planning improvements in HLIs are drawn up, circulated, and promoted nationwide among HLIs.