In Tanzania, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare joined the world to commemorate the International Nurses week (May 9th-12th, 2014) to honour the dedicated services provided by the nursing community. At national level the celebration was conducted in the Arusha region and the climax day was graced by His Excellency President Jakaya Kikwete at Amri Abeid Stadium Arusha. During the week different stakeholders including nurses offered health care services including public health education on reproductive health (family planning, cervical cancer, etc.), emergency and casualty care.
DSW Tanzania received an invitation from the Tanzania National Nurses Association (TANNA) to participate and support nursing week. During this week-long event, DSW offered support through a Youth truck that served to sensitise attendees on the role of nurses as a vital human resource. DSW Peer Educators from Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Clubs participated in the event, supporting the work of the DSW youth truck. Also at the stadium ground, where the event took place, DSW conducted awareness-raising – exhibiting information and education materials and talk shows that were facilitated by peer youth educators and trained nurses on sexual youth friendly services. Different stakeholders exhibited and offered different health services. At the DSW booth four young people and one woman who have been trained through DSW capacity building programmes were at the forefront of providing SRH information and education to community members visited the booth.
The National Hospital – Muhimbili through its emergency and orthopedic units demonstrated how they handle emergency and causality cases. Other stakeholders offered family planning counseling and services, cervical cancer checkup and referrals, HIV counseling and testing; TANNA’s booth provided antenatal care to children under five, together with the provision of nutrition supplements.
The visit of President Kikwete
The climax of the day that was graced by His Excellency the President of Tanzania who had an opportunity to visit the booths, and was welcomed by a marching parade of nurses that went from Mount Meru Regional Hospital to the Amri Abeid Stadium. The marching nurses held posters with different advocacy messages, calling attention to the need for the government, stakeholders and community to embrace the work of nurses and improve their working conditions. The President in his speech reiterated that the Government will continue to prioritise the addressing of challenges that are impeding nurses’ efficiency by improving nurses’ statutory benefits and working conditions.