The Chanzo Morning Briefing Tanzania News– November 17, 2023. 

In our briefing today: ‘We are staying’: Denmark announces it will retain embassy in Tanzania; Researchers reveal Tanzania’s religious leaders’ influence on adoption of family planning methods.

Good morning! The Chanzo is here with a rundown of major news stories reported in Tanzania on Thursday, November 16, 2023.

‘We are staying’: Denmark announces it will retain embassy in Tanzania

Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced Thursday that the Scandinavian country will retain its Embassy in Tanzania, almost two and a half years after it announced that it would close it by 2024.

“In a time of global conflict, displacements, unemployment, poverty, climate change and food- and energy crisis, we need partnerships more than ever,” a statement quoted Mr Rasmussen saying.

“We need to come together around joint interests to address common challenges and explore opportunities,” he added. “Denmark and Tanzania might be 7,000 km apart, but our cooperation is deeply rooted.”

Denmark and Tanzania have partnered for 60 years. During this time, the partnership has supported national and local development, strengthened institutions, and ensured access to quality health services, education, and water.

Full story here.

Researchers reveal Tanzania’s religious leaders’ influence on adoption of family planning methods

Researchers at the U.S.-based Weill Cornell Medicine have found that partnering with local religious leaders boosted the adoption of family planning methods in Tanzania.

The experts say that the findings present “a novel strategy” for increasing global awareness and use of contraception in regions where faith leaders are trusted messengers in the community.

The study, published in The Lancet Global Health on November 14, 2024, shows that workshops designed to provide religious leaders with information about family planning promoted discussion in the context of faith and led to a measurable increase in the number of people seeking contraception at community public health facilities.

A press statement about the study noted that the work was inspired by a similar research Dr Jennifer Downs, a co-senior study author, and her colleagues in Tanzania conducted in 2017

In that trial, the researchers worked with religious leaders to promote the adoption of male circumcision as an HIV prevention measure. Although the approach was successful, the village women felt left out. 

Full story here.

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