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June 2017
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UTPC signs a Memorandum of Understanding with E4A

malekoUnion of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Evidence for Action (E4A), under which the two parties have agreed to work more closely in enhancing information on increased accountability for maternal and newborn survival in Tanzania.

An Acting UTPC Executive Director, Mr Victor Maleko, signed the Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work in partnership with E4A, itself funded by British Department for International Development.

E4A Country Director, Mr Craig Ferla, on the other hand, signed it equally agreeing to work in partnership with UTPC, given the latter’s good network of journalist associations, scattered all united republic of Tanzania, an event presided over by UTPC President, Mr Kenneth Simbaya.

Under the one-year renewable Memorandum of Understanding for a similar period of time, both parties will liaise on regularly with each other to ensure smooth implementation of the partnership.

Also, in line with the Memorandum of Understanding, each lead contact will report to their respective Directors/Board of Directors besides lead contacts meeting quarterly to monitor and manage the partnership’s progress   and holding debriefing meeting within one month of the end of project duration (2014) to take stock of its progress.

An effective engagement of the media especially at sub-national level, through UTPC and its member Press Clubs in enhancing stakeholders’ awareness and local accountability for improved maternal and newborn health in the country constitutes the partnership’s specific objective.

The partnership’s key outputs include:-

  • A resource of journalists across all regions of Tanzania Mainland specializing in maternal and newborn health reporting;
  • An increased positive coverage, through community media available in the regions, on maternal and newborn health
  • National media outlets providing space for local stories, features and programmes on maternal and newborn health
  • Community media facilitating increased local level accountability for improved availability of maternal and newborn health services.

Talking to a group of local journalists at UTPC premises, shortly after putting their signatures on the Memorandum of Understanding, Mr Maleko described the occasion as an indication of how UTPC has improved with age.

He expressed optimism that UTPC, committed to achieving success through partnership with a pool of practitioners at its disposal, will undoubtedly work closely with E4A.

On his side, Mr Ferla , accompanied by the Organization’s Communication and Advocacy Coordinator, Ms Chiku Lweno, said the agreement signed by the two parties was just a gesture of complementing pledges made by Tanzania Government, at international arena, to save the lives of mothers and babies.

Quoting World Health Organization (WHO) latest report, the Country Director said Tanzania loses 8,500 mothers annually (equivalent to 24 mothers daily) and between 48,000-50,000 under-fives annually (equivalent to 130 babies daily), statistics he described as a real disaster.

Speaking during Questions & Answers session, the journalists contended that editors be fully involved in the implementation to make the whole brilliant idea a success, a proposal which, in fact, is already reflected in the project’s tentative Activity Plan and Budget.

Ms Chiku Lweno seized the very opportunity (Press conference) to introduce the journalism practitioners to a famous mamaye web, which E4A uses in campaigning for and complementing the Government’s efforts to at least mitigate the said social problem.

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