A new how-to manual for aid workers lays out the issues and practical steps that all must take to ensure women's sexual and reproductive health and rights, including menstrual health that is a precursor to preventing and mitigating gender based violence. Included in these guidelines is a specific requirement to ensure dignified access to hygiene-related materials.
Whether through civil war or other forms of conflict, natural disasters or climate related disasters such as drought, the global scale of displaced people is unprecedented. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are now over 60 million forcibly displaced people around the world including 19.5 million refugees -- the highest number on record!
Over the past 15 years, Tanzania has made a concerted effort to immunize its children -- and has achieved a remarkable vaccination rate of almost 90 per cent. That's not good enough for the government and health organizations, though. They want to get as close to 100 per cent as possible. But figuring out which children have been missed is a huge challenge in a country where many families still live nomadic lives in remote areas. Enter Seattle health organization PATH and Canada's own Mohawk College, in Hamilton, Ont. They're helping out, not with more vaccines or nurses, but a database.
Talking about sexual and reproductive health with students is always a little bit awkward, even in the best of situations! Having these discussions within a culture that often considers anything related to reproductive health to be taboo can be particularly challenging -- and incredibly important. In rural Tanzania, such topics are rarely discussed. The national curriculum includes the topics of menstruation and reproductive health, but these topics are frequently rushed through, or skipped altogether, by uncomfortable teachers in underfunded, overcrowded schools.
I am rebooting my Documentary called "The Kilimanjaro Project" for Arlene Dickinson (the famous Dragon from CBC's The Dragon's Den). The documentary should be out late summer or early fall. I think you will really like as it highlights my journey throughout Tanzania and even includes the new project I am working.
In Kenya, the average cost of a package of sanitary pads is 75KSH -- approximately $1 CAD. While this may seem like a minimal amount of money, the average daily income for unskilled labourers is around $1.50 CAD. Providing access to healthy and sustainable menstrual management materials allows women to stay safe, and healthy, and does not sacrifice her ability to participate in work, school or daily activities.
Mambo Jambo Radio is one of many radio stations around the world to benefit from JHR human rights media training. Knoll helped broadcaster Rotlinde Achimpota understand the importance of covering women's and children's rights stories, which has since made her a household name across northern Tanzania.
Last week an American team of researchers published a paper in which they looked at the microbial content of human hands. They not only found distinct differences in the bacteria between the two groups, but they were also able to identify quite possibly a new way to test for a truly natural being or a Westernized wannabe.
Tanzania has all the trappings of a developing nation struggling to achieve developed nation status. There is a local Swahili saying that translates loosely as "the government takes first," essentially leaving the people to fend for themselves. And so it is not totally unexpected that NGOs are perceived as profit-making schemes.
Because of the Muskoka Initiative children in Africa are being protected from diseases for just a few dollars. Launched at Canada's G8 Summit in 2010, the focus of the initiative is on supporting proven, cost-effective, and evidence-based interventions. Vaccines are just that. Vaccines save lives and help communities to thrive.