MINISTRY of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children has applauded the Union of Tanzania Press Club (UTPC) for supporting journalists in promoting the strong understanding of early childhood development programme for children under eight. The programme is implemented by Children in Crossfire (CiC).

The compliments were given by Deputy Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Mwanaidi Ali Khamis when addressing the journalists in Dodoma on Friday 10th December.

The journalists were at the orientation of the National Multisectoral Early Childhood Development Programme (NM-ECDP)’s training which will be officially inaugurated on Monday 13th December.

Abubakar Karsan, UTPC Director, informed the deputy minister, that more than 1.000 stories and articles have been written by journalists under ECD programme, which have been used by various media houses to reach the communities on ECD awareness.

The Deputy Minister said, “as the nation, we have to solve the challenges affecting the domains of nurturing care which are health, early learning, adequate nutrition,  responsive caregiving and security and safety.”

She pointed out that Tanzania is one of the African countries with a high number of children with malnutrition. According to Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC), in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics 2018, revealed that over 2,600,000 children under five in 11 regions had stunts.

She mentioned the leading regions are Dar es salaam, Kagera, Kigoma, Mara, Dodoma and Geita.

Other regions are Tanga, Ruvuma, Mbeya, Morogoro and Tabora.

The deputy minister wished all stakeholders solve the riddle as to why regions rich in food availability, are affected by stunting.

More than 270 children under five lost lives from poor nutrition,40% occurred in the first month after birth.

“I am glad you have been writing stories about children, and I hope you will continue writing to arrest the situation”, said Mwanaidi Ali Hamis.

Another area the deputy minister insisted on was about responsive caregiving, which is not taken seriously by lactating mothers, but mothers have to respond to their babies who at that time are unable to speak, but give the messages through signals

She was also touched by sex abuse to children, which hinders the dreams of their lives, saying  6,128 incidents(5,827 for females and 881 for boys) have been reported to the police force, for nine months of January-September this year.

CiC- Tanzania Country Director Craig Ferla thanked the government for the support to make an ECD programme a success and looking forward to NM-ECDP, a great achievement.


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