Partnership between governments of Tanzania and Canada aims to boost adolescent health and empowerment in Tanzania
Nutrition International’s BRIGHT project will empower adolescent girls and boys by providing them with improved access to sexual reproductive health and nutrition services.
Posted on July 28, 2023
Dodomo, TANZANIA – Canadian Minister of International Development, the Honorable Harjit Sajjan, and Tanzanian Minister of Health, the Honorable Ummy Mwalimu, today locally announced a project led by Nutrition International as part of a partnership between the governments of Canada and Tanzania to improve the health of adolescents in Tanzania.
Fifteen million Canadian dollars in financial support from the Government of Canada for the Building Rights for Improved Girls’ Health in Tanzania (BRIGHT) – a seven-year project which will be implemented in the Tabora region by Nutrition International and its partners, Engender Health and Young and Alive – was announced along with funding for four other projects. This groundbreaking initiative aims to empower adolescent girls and boys by providing them with improved access to sexual reproductive health and nutrition services.
“By breaking down the barriers preventing adolescents from realizing their rights to sexual and reproductive health and nutrition, the project ensures that young people have equitable access to comprehensive and high-quality services.
— Raphael Maligo, BRIGHT Project Director, Nutrition International
“The BRIGHT integrated approach is unique,” says Raphael Maligo, BRIGHT Project Director at Nutrition International. “Instead of providing sexual and reproductive health and nutrition services separately, it builds on the interconnectedness of these two crucial aspects of adolescent wellbeing, recognizing that both are inextricably linked and addressing them together leads to substantial returns to adolescents’ health outcomes. By breaking down the barriers preventing adolescents from realizing their rights to sexual and reproductive health and nutrition, the project ensures that young people have equitable access to comprehensive and high-quality services.”
Adolescent girls in Tabora region are facing major challenges to their health and wellbeing. According to government data, childbearing among girls aged 15-19 stands at 43 percent, while 58 percent are married early, and 71 percent have experienced gender-based violence. Furthermore, the prevalence of anaemia among women and girls in the region is 34.5percent, meaning a majority are at high risk of death during pregnancy or of adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Adolescents account for almost a quarter of Tanzania’s population, a vibrant demographic that has immense potential to unlock social and economic development, however, much of this is impeded by lack of essential nutrition and sexual and reproductive health services. The BRIGHT project is designed to work in close collaboration with ministries to address these pressing needs.
“The work our partners and our counterparts have been doing in Tanzania is pivotal to paving the way forward for a more prosperous future for everyone.
— Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development
“Canada and Tanzania share many interests, including the advancement of inclusive education and of health systems that support sexual and reproductive rights,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. “The work our partners and our counterparts have been doing in Tanzania is pivotal to paving the way forward for a more prosperous future for everyone.”
The BRIGHT approach is closely aligned to the Government of Tanzania’s strategic priorities as outlined in the National Accelerated Action and Investment Agenda for adolescent Health and Well-being (NAIA-AHW). Nutrition International is committed to working hand in hand with the government and partners to unlock the full potential of adolescents by keeping them healthy and empowered through sexual and reproductive health and nutrition services.