UNFPA and Canada join forces to support women and girls’ reproductive health in Zanzibar, Tanzania

15 October 2020

Uninterrupted and equitable access to quality maternal and child health care and ensuring healthcare workers are protected as they deliver these services is a priority for UNFPA in Zanzibar. © UNFPA Karlien Truyens

The Government of Canada has partnered with UNFPA to donate over 300 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits worth some $35,000 to authorities in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The kits, which contain surgical and N95 masks, face shields, eye goggles, long-sleeve gowns, surgical and non-surgical gloves, hand sanitizer and liquid antiseptic, will provide essential support to maintain uninterrupted reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services and information – and to ensure that front-line health workers are protected as they deliver these services.
 
Zanzibar’s Ministry of Health will quickly distribute the PPE kits to health facilities across the country to address the shortages of PPE items. This crucial support, financed by Global Affairs Canada as part of the Girls Reproductive Health, Rights and Empowerment Accelerated in Tanzania Project, will go a long way in protecting health workers enabling them to continue providing life-saving reproductive services to women and girls in need.
 
Addressing UNFPA, Ms. Halima Maulid, Zanzibar’s Deputy Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Health, said, “You have been supporting us for many years and are still working with us to save the lives of women and children of Zanzibar.”
 
UNFPA has also distributed dignity kits to address quarantined women and girls’ immediate hygiene needs. The kits include sanitary pads, underwear, antibacterial soap and washing powder. 
 
UNFPA will continue working with the Government of Canada to support reproductive health efforts and improve maternal and child health outcomes in Zanzibar and the rest of Tanzania as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. 
 
With Global Affairs Canada’s support, UNFPA also procured a boat ambulance to serve the smaller surrounding islands of the archipelago and provided financial assistance to renovate the maternity ward at Kivunge Hospital, increasing access to quality care for women living in rural areas in the north of Zanzibar’s Unguja Island. 

The Government of Canada is a staunch advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights and a champion of women and girls’ empowerment and gender equality. 

In 2019, Canada was UNFPA’s  top humanitarian partner and 3rd largest government donor.