Tanzania Communication and Development Center (TCDC) understands the power of setting a healthy example; at times against the rhythms of a live, message-rich soundtrack.
In February, TCDC, a member of CCP’s worldwide network, helped to present a four-day festival where thousands received medical services and healthy lifestyle messages from top pop stars.
TCDC also reported that for the first quarter of 2015, the organization’s Community Change Agents (CCAs) reached hundreds of thousands of rural residents with interventions on malaria, HIV/AIDS and family planning.
Get the news straight from TCDC, which is funded by the CCP-led Tanzania Capacity and Communication Project:
Speedy Malaria Tests + Celebrity Musicians+ Healthy Messaging = Success!
Growing up, Happy Mpete had to wait days before getting the results of her malaria tests. In February, Happy received her malaria results within minutes while attending Makambako Kanyaga Twende’ (Makambako, step up! Let’s go!”)
“Today I could see the malaria test and received my results in fifteen minutes,” said Happy. “It is very easy to test for malaria nowadays!”
Happy is one of more than five thousand people who flocked to the February event in the Makambako district for centrally-located services related to HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning and safe motherhood.
TCDC worked with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and United States government partners to present the event. Service sites were also set up in all nine wards of Makambako Town Council to provide HIV and malaria testing, condom demonstrations and distribution, cervical cancer screenings and voluntary circumcision for willing men.
“I was so impressed to learn that these different services were within our reach,” said one 63-year old man who attended the health festival. “I was able to test for malaria and was motivated to get circumcised after learning about its benefits.”
Throughout the festival, professional facilitators worked with participants to address common concerns and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning and safe motherhood.
The event also included stage performances featuring a number of Tanzania’s hottest pop stars, including Kib Q, Linah and Rich Mavoko. Some of their biggest hits were used as a platform to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Over four days, 2200 festival participants were tested for HIV and more than 1900 were tested for malaria. More than 40,000 condoms were distributed, including 2000 female condoms. A total of 150 women were screened for cervical cancer and 107 men volunteered for circumcision.
Abu Msemo, TCDC’s media and events manager, summed up the successful event as “a testament to the fact that, with proper education and motivation, people will go that extra mile to take charge of their health.”
Community Change Agents Multiply Healthy Outcomes in Rural Tanzania
When village councilman Salum Kabugo needed help planning an HIV-testing event in his village, he turned to his ward’s Community Change Agent (CCA), Mathayo Msosa. Together, Salum and Mathayo collaborated with other organizations in the area to arrange an event funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that drew thousands and tested more than 700 people across the eleven villages in their ward.
Mr. Msosa is one of 800 CCAs throughout Tanzania who are inspiring positive behavior change in their communities. Funded by USAID under TCDC, the CCA program was able to reach hundreds of thousands of rural Tanzanians in the first quarter of 2015, covering some of the most important health issues facing the country today – malaria, HIV/AIDS and family planning.
The CCA program has been a wild success and, thanks to a new partnership with Global Fund, is looking to expand from six operational regions to fifteen by the end of the second quarter of 2015. TCDC expects this partnership to double the number of active CCAs engaging communities around Tanzania, increasing exposure to current health information at the rural level and bringing Tanzanians one step closer to taking charge of their own health!