Dar es Salaam. Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.
Children’s rights most violated in Tanzania, new report by LHRC finds
Children constitute the majority of victims of reported and documented incidents of human rights violations in Tanzania (47 per cent), followed by women (33 per cent), the elderly (10 per cent) and Persons with Disabilities (four per cent).
This is according to the latest human rights report by the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) launched on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam. The remaining six per cent were other victims, including members of law enforcement agencies.
The report cites police statistics showing that from 2017 to 2021, 70,997 incidents of violence against children were reported at police stations across the country, averaging 14,199 incidents yearly, 1,183 monthly, and 39 incidents each day.
Through its media survey and human rights monitoring, in 2022, the LHRC documented at least 350 incidents against children reported across Tanzania Mainland, with sexual violence taking the bigger share (81 per cent) of the incidents documented.
A quarter (25 per cent) of the victims were under the age of ten years, with boys constituting the majority (78 per cent) of sodomy victims, LHRC found.
An analysis by LHRC found that the main perpetrators of sexual violence against children were a father, stepfather, unknown adult male (resident of the area), uncles, elderly men, close relative/family friend, like a cousin, a child at school, especially for sodomy, health workers, like a doctor, and motorcycle (bodaboda) driver.
Full story here.
Revealed: COVID-19 did not impact bushmeat eaters levels of wild meat consumption at Kenya-Tanzania border
A new study of bushmeat eaters in Tanzania and Kenya found that nearly 70 per cent of rural respondents at Kenya-Tanzania border said that COVID-19 did not impact their levels of wild meat consumption, with some even reporting increased consumption.
The study explored the impact of COVID-19 patterns on wild meat consumption and perceptions of associated zoonotic disease risks.
It was undertaken by a team of researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), the global wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, Nature Heritage and the Wildlife Research Training Institute.
The study, conducted in December 2021, interviewed 299 people in communities on the Kenya-Tanzania border.
Key findings revealed that levels of education played a critical role in understanding zoonotic disease transmission. Respondents with higher levels of education were more aware of the risks of disease transmission.
Zoonotic diseases are those that originate in animals—be they tamed or wild—that then mutate and ‘spill-over’ into human populations.
Despite understanding the associated risks of consuming meat from wild animals, the study found that COVID-19 did not strongly affect the consumption of wild meat, with only 30 per cent of respondents reporting lower consumption because of the pandemic.
Nearly 70 per cent said that COVID-19 did not impact their levels of wild meat consumption, with some even reporting increased consumption.
Researchers attribute this to the increased food costs caused by regulations to control the COVID-19 pandemic, which made many people seek protein sources cheaper than beef, mutton, chicken and other domesticated animal meats.
Julia Fa, University of Manchester professor and fellow at CIFOR-ICRAF, was quoted in Africa.Com as saying that while hunting wild animals for their meat has been a crucial activity in the evolution of humans and continues to be an essential source of food and income for millions of indigenous and rural communities globally, wildlife conservationists rightly fear that excessive hunting of many wild species will cause their demise.
“To ensure continued use of wildlife resources by those who depend on it, sustainable hunting, marketing and consumption practices must be implemented,” Fa added. “Local communities need to remain or become custodians of the wildlife resources within their lands, for their own well-being as well as for biodiversity in general.”
This study highlights the need to understand better how local communities perceive zoonotic and other disease risks associated with wild meat hunting, selling and consumption, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The findings can be used to inform public health strategies targeted at community inclusion and disease behavioral campaigns, particularly in lower-income countries where wild meat trade and consumption remain prevalent.
WFP Tanzania ‘concerned’ about the funding constraints facing its refugee response
The World Food Program (WFP) – Tanzania said Wednesday that it was “concerned” about the funding constraints facing its refugee response in the country, forcing it to reduce refugee food rations from 80 per cent to 65 per cent as of the end of March.
In its country brief published yesterday, WFP said the situation is compounded by a significant reduction in the repatriation of Burundians, the recent influx of Congolese asylum seekers, and the increased prices of food commodities, transport, and delivery of food assistance.
According to the WFP, since the beginning of March, Tanzania has received 7,316 Congolese asylum seekers fleeing the ongoing unrest in the northern Kivu region. WFP has provided them with life-saving food assistance in collaboration with the government, UNHCR, and other actors on the ground.
WFP provided 200g of high-energy biscuits per person, per day to new arrivals to meet their immediate food needs while at the government reception center. Biscuits are fortified with micronutrients to meet the minimum daily calorie requirement of 2,100.
WFP also provided asylum seekers hosted in temporary shelters at Nyarugusu camp with a five-day in-kind food ration.
“Without additional funding, WFP will be forced to implement additional reductions, with an anticipated complete pipeline break by September,” the UN organisation said in its brief.
“Coupled with the challenging context inside the camps, reductions are likely to result in significant deterioration of the food and nutrition situation inside the camps, especially among vulnerable groups including women, children, the elderly, and persons living with disabilities,” it added.
WFP said it needs an additional US&8 million to respond to the needs of refugees and new asylum seekers in the next six months, from April to September.
Tanzanian nurse among finalists for the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2023
A Tanzanian nurse has been selected among ten finalists for the 2023 Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award, an award that recognises the “phenomenal” contribution of nurses to humanity.
Wilson Gwessa Fungameza, a nurse at the Muhimbili National Hospital-Mloganzila is among ten nurses who were shortlisted for the award from from more than 52,000 entries across 202 countries.
If he emerges as the grand winner, Fungameza will be awarded $250,000 at the ceremony in London, the UK to be held on May 12, 2023, the International Nurses Day.
Fungameza’s work at MNH has been attributed to the reduction of neonatal death from respiratory problems from 14.1 per cent to 5.9 per cent.
This milestone inspired him to write the first book on nursing in Tanzania, titled Nursing Diagnosis for Academic and Clinical Practice.
He is one of two finalists from East Africa, the other being Christine Mawia Sammy from Kenya who established the first-ever newborn unit in Kitui county in the country in 2010, reducing neonatal mortality from 50 per cent to less than 10 per cent in just a year.
Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, the organisation that organises the award, said in a statement that millions of nurses across the world are working hard every single day to serve their patients and form the core of the healthcare eco-system.
“Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award is our way of acknowledging their dedication and recognizing their work,” Moopen said. “This year, with more than 50,000 nurses vying for the coveted award, it has been a hard task for the eminent Jury members to shortlist the top 10 outstanding nurses. Each of the finalists have a remarkable trajectory and have made significant contribution to the field of nursing. We wish each of them all the very best.”
With just five years of experience in nursing, Fungameza has made a mark with his extraordinary contribution in curbing neonatal deaths. Initially working at Muhimbili National Hospital—Mloganzila in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Wilson observed that many newborn babies were dying.
At that time, the hospital didn’t have any respiratory support machines (neither a CPAP machine nor a ventilator machine), so normal oxygen therapy was given as an alternative.
This is when Wilson invested and introduced the Improvised Bubble CPAP Device in the hospital which significantly reduced neonatal deaths from respiratory problems.
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