Taking actions to reduce neonatal disorders

By Pooja Senthamaraiselvan – Art in Tanzania internship

Tanzania is making great strides in reducing child mortality, but has demonstrated slower progress in reducing neonatal deaths. There has been a declining trend in NMR over the past decade but it indicates a very gradual improvement. In order to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 for child survival, the number of newborn deaths in Tanzania must be greatly reduced. At the current rate of progress, Millennium Development Goal 4 could be met, if more attention is given to newborn survival [1].

Most neonatal deaths are due to preventable and treatable causes. Up to two-thirds of newborn lives could be saved if essential care reached mothers and babies [1]. Hence, there are opportunities to lower mortality rates even further with interventions at both the health facility level and the community level in Tanzania to ensure better healthcare provision to these parties. This will mainly require implementing improvements in resources for maternal and neonatal care in terms of quality, availability, accessibility, and affordability as well as creating more awareness about birth plans for labour and delivery among the people in Tanzania, particularly pregnant women.

Actions at the health facility level to save newborn lives

  • Improve infrastructure and supplies – ensuring every district hospital has a neonatal unit, practices Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) and all health facilities have functional equipment and essential drugs such as gentamicin for treating neonatal sepsis
  • Recruit and retain quality staff – filling vacant posts and addressing turnover among existing staff; ensuring competence in key skills such as neonatal resuscitation
  • Improve guidelines and service delivery – establishing or improving procedures for routine postnatal care and management of preterm and sick newborns
  • Integrate services – linking emergency obstetric services with newborn care and improving transport and referral mechanisms
  • Use data locally for quality improvement – recording and auditing neonatal deaths and stillbirths [1]

Actions at the family and community level to save newborn lives

  • Identify a means to reach every mother and baby in the early postnatal period (within the first two days after birth)
  • Invest in primary health care at the village level by ensuring appropriate supervision, remuneration and working conditions for village health workers
  • Strengthen community – Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) to effectively reinforce healthy behaviours, recognition of danger signs and timely care seeking, to identify harmful traditional practices and awareness of key newborn health packages, such as routine postnatal care, KMC and IMCI
  • Engage communities in birth preparedness, including planning to give birth at a health facility and emergency transport
  • Reduce the economic burden of a facility birth on women and their families [1]

These actions depend on leadership at all levels. Tanzania’s decentralised health system ensures that public health interventions are linked to those who need them but more effort is needed to integrate newborn health packages into district level budgets and planning. Newborn lives can be saved by implementing appropriate policies, improving staffing levels and supervision in health facilities and providing an enabling environment for community-level care. There is an immediate opportunity for Tanzania to implement the recommendations within the Road Map/One Plan to improve newborn health from the highest level in both public and private health facilities and to infl uence the care newborns receive at home. Tanzania’s future depends on the ability of these newborns to survive and thrive. This situation analysis sheds light on the current state of care and the opportunities to save lives. While better data, policy change and revised guidelines will make a difference, it takes people to act to save newborn lives. Will you use this information to become a champion of the country’s most vulnerable and precious citizens?

References

[1]https://www.countdown2015mnch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Tanzania_SituationAnalysis_Newborn.pdf

Katavi National Park

By Farzad Ghotaslou – Art in Tanzania Internship Project

Due to its long distance Art in Tanzania team goes rather seldom to Katavi. We need minimum 3 participants to make the long drive to Katavi and back to keep the cost reasonable. However Katavi is always worth it as it is still the real wilderness of Africa.

Katavi National Park, located about 35 km southwest of Mpanda, is the third largest national park in Tanzania (added to the two contiguous “game reserves”, the protected area extends over a territory of 12,500 sq km) , as well as one of its most pristine natural areas. Although this is an isolated and less crowded alternative to other such destinations around Tanzania (Serengeti National Park receives more visitors per day than Katavi receives throughout the year), the lodges here are luxurious. as in any other park in the country, and for backpackers it is one of the cheapest and easiest to reach destinations; as long as you have the time and energy to get here.

The park is named after the Wabende spirit, Katabi, who according to local legend lives in a tamarind tree near Lake Katavi. Locals looking for blessings from his spirit still leave offerings at the foot of the tree. The area was first protected in 1911 during the German occupation and was later named Rukwa Game Reserve under British occupation until 1932. In 1974, an area of just over 2,200 km² was declared a National Park and the larger area was finally gazetted in 1996 and opened officially with the name Katavi National Park in 1998.

The main feature of the Katavi territory is its vast (425 sq km) alluvial plain, the Katisunga Plain, whose wide grassy expanses occupy the heart of the park. In the western and central part of the park the plain gives way to large tracts of scrub and forest, and these are the best places to spot tawny antelopes and black antelopes; along with Ruaha National Park, Katavi is one of the few places where you have a good chance of seeing both of these species. Some small rivers and large swamps that do not dry up during the dry season are the ideal habitat for hippos and crocodiles; moreover, the Katavi is populated by about 400 species of birds.

Wildlife features include large animal herds, particularly of Cape Buffaloes, zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, and elephants, plus along the Katuma river, crocodiles and hippopotami which upon annual dry seasons results in mud holes that can be packed with hundreds of hippos. Carnivorous animals that roam this park are cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, and lions. Some sources claim a very high biodiversity in the park, although there are also reports of wildlife decline due to illegal hunting and poaching, presumably ‘bushmeat’ sustenance. Katavi has fewer human visitors and jeeps conducting game drives than other Tanzania parks.

Art in Tanzania safaris. Tansanian safarit

It is during the dry season, when the floodwaters retreat, that Katavi truly comes into life. The Katuma, reduced to a shallow muddy trickle, forms the only source of drinking water for miles around, and the flanking floodplains support game concentrations that defy belief. An estimated 4,000 elephants might converge on the area, together with several herds of 1,000-plus buffalo, while an abundance of giraffes, zebras, impalas and reedbucks provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides and spotted hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.

Katavi’s most singular wildlife spectacle is provided by its hippos. Towards the end of the dry season, up to 200 individuals might flop together in any riverine pool of sufficient depth. And as more hippos gather in one place, so does male rivalry heat up – bloody territorial fights are an everyday incident, with the vanquished male forced to lurk hapless on the open plains until it gathers sufficient confidence to mount another challenge.

The number of visitors to the park on an annual basis is extremely low, in comparison to better known parks, just above 1,500 foreign visitors out of a total 900,000 registered in the whole Tanzania National Parks system during 2012/13. A survey of the actual rooms sold by the available ‘Safari’ style accommodations might reveal the number, but based on total room count and season length, an upper limit can also be estimated. In addition to a public campsite (located at SO 06’39’19.1 E0 031’08’07.9), as of 2013, there were only three permanent camps permitted to operate at Katavi, namely the Mbali Mbali Katavi Lodge and the Foxes on the Katuma Plain and the Chada on the Chada Plain. These camps each have a visitor capacity limit of approximately one dozen each.

Getting to Katavi for visitors will likely be arranged by the hosting camp, with one of the available charter flight services being the Mbali Mbali Shared Charter (operated by Zantas Air Services) or Safari Air Link. All flights will require landing on a dirt airstrip; the Ikuu airstrip (near the Ikuu Rangerpost) has minimal services. It is very approximately a three-hour flight from Katavi to Dar es Salaam and two-hours flight to Mwanza via a small, bush-compatible light aircraft. A flight to Arusha is similarly ~3 hours distant and operates on limited service usually only twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

Access to Katavi via ground transportation: estimates vary widely; it is generally discussed not in hours but in days. The town of Mbeya is (550 km/340 miles) distant and is described as a “…tough but spectacular…” drive; Google Maps indicates that Mbeya is 838 km from Dar es Salaam, making the total distance approximately 1,400 km (870 mi) and requiring 20+ hours. The most direct route to Dar es Salaam as per Google Maps is approx. 1250 km (~800 miles) and requiring 16+ hours. Arusha is similarly distant: 1000+km /13.5 hours. The percentage of transit on unpaved surfaces is unknown, but parts of all of these routes will definitely be on dirt roads. Since all of the above times from Google Maps assume an average transit speed of 80 km (50 mph), all these indicated travel times should be considered to be optimistic.

The park no longer offers vehicle rentals, but Marula Expeditions charges US $ 150 to US $ 200 per day depending on how far you want to travel, while the less flexible Riverside Camp (see Overnight) offers two off-road vehicles with canopies. retractable at a cost of US $ 250 per day.

Walking safaris (short / long US $ 10/15 per group) are permitted with the accompaniment of an armed forest ranger; Bush camping is also allowed (US $ 50 per person plus walking fee) throughout the park, making it a great option for the budget traveler. However, keep in mind that this is one of the most infested parks with tsetse flies. The road to Lake Katavi, another of the seasonal floodplains, is a good destination for walking; the road starts from the park management offices, so you don’t need any vehicles.

The main activity, of course, is game viewing, which can be done on both game drives and guided walking safaris. The bonus of game drives in Katavi National Park is that you’re unlikely to come across any other humans. Walking safaris are an experience not to be missed to really get up close to the African bush, its sights, sounds and aromas.

Fly camping is offered. This is the definition of bush camping, where normal tents (don’t expect luxury!) are set up in the bush at a temporary campsite. No fences, no flush toilets or showers. It’s living in the wild; cooking food over a fire and spending evenings chatting around the campfire, staring up at the breathtaking African night sky and listening to the nocturnal calls of wild animals.

Katavi National Park offers great game viewing all year around but reaches its peak during the dry season from June to November or December when the animals gather in their thousands around scarce water sources.

During the wet season, the floodplains turn to lakes and offer spectacular birdwatching opportunities.

References

  1.  “Tanzania National parks Corporate Information”. Tanzania Parks. TANAPA. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  2.  Katavi NPArchived 2008-02-06 at the Wayback Machine information from tanzaniaparks.com
  3. ^Parks arrivals highlightArchived 2015-12-20 at the Wayback Machine from tanzaniaparks.com
  4.  Campsite info from tanzaniaparks.com
  5.  Katuma Bush Lodge official site
  6.  Foxes of Africa official website
  7.  Chada Camp official website
  8.  Safari Aviation official website
  9.  Highway route on Google Maps
  10. Wikipedia

CAUSES OF CHILD LABOUR IN TANZANIA

By Rosemary David – Art in Tanzania internship

Child labour or child labor refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially and morally harmful. Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide, although these laws do not consider all work by children as child labour; exceptions include work by child artists, family duties, supervised training, and some forms of child work.

All over the world, children are being exploited through child labour. This mentally and physically dangerous work interferes with schooling and long-term development -the worst forms include slavery, trafficking, sexual exploitation and hazardous work that put children at risk of death, injury or disease.

CAUSES OF CHILD LABOUR IN TANZANIA

Personal Variables

Physical and mental attributes of children influence their abuse. Physical disabilities have long been associated with child abuse and neglect, as these children are often victims of discrimination, sexual exploitation and social exclusion. More often than seldom, the abused or the victims of abuse do not report such cases to the authority, for fear of reprisal by the abuser who may be a parent and due to ignorance.

Socio – economic Aspects

Modern socio-economic developments have diminished the traditional role and power of women. This change in status, has brought about strains in family life and decreased the value of children, resulting into more frequent occurrences of child abuse and neglect.

Social – cultural Aspects

Social-cultural aspects, play a vital role in contributing to the increasing rate of child labour in many developing countries today. Traditionally, children have been viewed as personal property and were generally expected to work. There was a maximum division of labour, where girls were expected to do all the house chores and the boys went hunting. These roles were meant to prepare the children for future adulthood, especially girls who were often subjected to early marriages when they clocked the age of puberty, while their male counterparts went to school. It is however important to note that, some of the household work is too excessive and exploitative and can be categorized under child labour.

Family Characteristics

Family characteristics have played a crucial role in the employment of children based on the type of family (polygamous and monogamous), family size and the employment of parents. Household poverty, is one of the underlying causes of child labour that affects school enrollment, as many cannot afford school fees and school materials. Child labour becomes a majority option for most families for survival, which eventually affects the academic performance of some children, who labour for fees which endangers them physically and psychologically. While it might seem obvious that, children had to fend for their families, parental consent to work, comes in the way as a major issue of maximum consideration in child employment.

Single Parenthood

Many studies indicate that, children who reported their parents as no longer staying together, or those who had lost one of their parents and in most cases drained in poverty, engaged in work. The increasing number of orphans and children raised by single parents, undoubtedly necessitated the employment of children.

Community Variables

At community level, societal transformation and challenges therein, act as a stressor on families and diminishes the capability of families to look after their children properly. The rampant slum developments, which are a manifestation of poor socio-economic conditions and overcrowding, represent a bigger challenge to the life of a child than the society itself.

 Political Factors

Political factors, refer to conditions that cause civil and national strife and unrest including wars inter alia as considered. Children migrate to bigger cities in search for help. These children sometimes go accompanied by their parents and some unaccompanied, especially orphans. War zones, serve as catchment areas for vulnerable children who end up on the streets and involve themselves in child labour for survival.

The Social Capital Theory

The social capital theory offers a beginning point in the theoretical analysis of the street children phenomenon in Tanzania. This theory draws a correlation between family structure and home-leaving. Most of street children end up being employed at small age.

Tarangire National Park

By Farzad Ghotaslou – Art in Tanzania internship

Tarangire National Park is a common safari destination for Art in Tanzania visitors. It is mostly combined with visits to Lake Manyara, Serengeti and N’gorongoro crater.

Ranking as the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania and covering an area of 2,600 square kilometers, The Tarangire National Park is most popular for its large elephant herds and mini-wildlife migration that takes place during the dry season which sees about 250,000 animals enter the park. Located slightly off the popular northern Tanzania Safari Circuit, the park lies between the meadows of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west.

Within the northern part of Tarangire is the permanent River Tarangire also known as the lifeline of the park particularly in the dry season when most of the region is totally dry. This flows northwards until it exits the park in the northwestern corner to pour into Lake Burungi. There are several wide swamps which dry into green plains during the dry season in the south.

The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season. The Tarangire Ecosystem is defined by the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebras. During the dry season thousands of animals concentrate in Tarangire National Park from the surrounding wet-season dispersal and calving areas.

It covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles.) The landscape is composed of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps. Vegetation is a mix of Acacia woodland, Combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, and baobab trees.

The Park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Visitors to the park in the June to November dry season can expect to see large herds of thousands of zebras, wildebeest, and cape buffalo. Other common resident animals include waterbuck, giraffe, dik dik, impala, eland, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose, and olive baboon. Predators in Tarangire include lion, leopard, cheetah, caracal, honey badger, and African wild dog.

The oldest known elephant to give birth to twins is found in Tarangire. A recent birth of elephant twins in the Tarangire National Park of Tanzania is a great example of how the birth of these two healthy and thriving twins can beat the odds.

Home to more than 550 bird species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts. The Park is also famous for the termite mounds that dot the landscape. Those that have been abandoned are often home to dwarf mongoose. In 2015, a giraffe that is white due to leucism was spotted in the park. Wildlife research is focused on African bush elephant and Masai giraffe. Since 2005, the protected area is considered a Lion Conservation Unit.

Every year during the dry season from June to November Tarangire hosts a wildlife migration which is not as dramatic as the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, but receives a somewhat large number of animals. As most of this part of the country is dry, the Tarangire River remains the only source of water and consequently attracts large numbers of wildebeests, elephants, gazelles, zebras and hartebeest, buffaloes plus various predators like lions that come to drink and graze around the riverbanks. during the rain months of November to May, the zebras as well as large herds of wildebeests move into the north-western direction towards the Rift Valley floor amongst the large numbers of animals that spread across the large open areas of the Masai Steppe and dispersing all the way to Lake Manyara.

Because Tarangire is manly a seasonal national park, its wildlife differs depending on the season and also considering that It is part of a bigger ecosystem. As earlier mentioned, the dry season is the best time to visit Tarangire and you will be able to encounter various animals. This Park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa with several herds of up to 300 members per herd. In addition, there are large numbers of impalas, elands, buffaloes, giraffes, Bohor reedbuck, Coke’s hartebeest, Thompson’s gazelle, the greater and lesser kudu and on rare occasions, the unusual gerenuk and fringe –eared Oryx are also seen.

A few black rhinos are also thought to be still present in this park. You will obviously see big numbers of elephants gather here as well as the wildebeests and zebras. Among the other common animals in the Tarangire are the leopards, lions, hyenas, and cheetah that seem to be popular within the southern open areas. The wild dogs are only seen occasionally

The birds within the Tarangire are also quite many, there are over 545 species that have been identified here. The stunning yellow collared lovebirds and the shy starlings are in plenty here in addition to other species.

During the dry months the concentration of animals around the Tarangire river is almost as diverse and reliable as in the Ngorongoro Crater. However, the ecosystem here is balanced by a localized migration pattern that is followed by the majority of game that resides in and around the park. As a result, Tarangire is superb in season but questionable the rest of the year. Elephants are the main attraction, with up to 3,000 in the park during the peak months. Peak season also sees good numbers of wildebeest and zebra as well as giraffe, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, greater and lesser kudu,

eland, leopard and cheetah. The real prizes in the park are dwarf mongoose, oryx and generuk – but viewings are very rare.

Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry riverbed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry- country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.

During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains, and the river calls once more. But

Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry. The swamps-tinged green year-round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.

On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.

More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.

Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting.

The permanent Tarangire River is the most dominant feature here and it’s after this river that the park was named. there are a number of large swamps that feed off some of its tributaries however, these are usually dry for most of the year but get very impassable during the rains .The Tarangire park is usually very dry, in fact drier than the Serengeti, however its vegetation is much more green especially with lots of elephant grass, vast areas with mixed acacia woodlands and some of the wonderful ribbons of the aquatic forest not to forget the giant baobab tree that can live up to 600 years storing between 300 and 900 liters of water.

Located slightly off the main safari route, Tarangire National Park is a lovely, quiet park in Northern Tanzania. It is most famous for its elephant migration, birding and authentic safari atmosphere. Most travelers to the region either miss out Tarangire altogether or venture into the park for a matter of hours – leaving swathes of Tarangire virtually untouched!

Tarangire safaris are the main activity, however, staying outside the park makes walking and night safari a possibility. There are no boat safaris on the rivers here, but Oliver’s Camp offers adventurous fly camping trips and very good walking safaris. Both Oliver’s Camp and Swala have recently started night safaris within the park itself. Ask us for more information as the regulations here seem to change every year!

During your Safari in Tarangire, you are highly recommended to stay for a couple of days especially in the south of the park which offers a less crowded safari experience and gives you the opportunity to enjoy an authentic African feel of the Tanzania’s countryside.

Art in Tanzania safaris – Selous game reserve. Tansanian safari ohjelmat

Tarangire is the surprise package on the Northern circuit. Often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire has huge concentrations of animals in the peak months and a fraction of the visitor numbers of any of the other Northern parks. From July through to October safaris here are superb, and the atmosphere and habitats are completely different from other parks. Tarangire is surprisingly large, giving visitors the quietest game viewing environment of all the parks in the region. The South of Tarangire is especially quiet, and lodges such as Swala and Oliver’s Camp are the perfect place to explore this remote area, and to really get away from any other travellers. Overall, a superb little park that offers great value compared to its neighbours and a seriously good option for getting away from it all.

The game viewing from July through to October is exceptional but for the remainder of the year most of the game migrates out of the park, onto the floor of the Rift Valley and to the grazing grounds of the Masai steppe. As a result, we would advise visitors not to expect high concentrations of game in the off-season months but would still recommend travelling here to those who want to avoid the crowds.

The best time to visit Tarangire is probably in the dry season from June – October, where the game viewing is at its best. Tsatse flies tend to be bad from December to March so although this is a good time to go to the Serengeti for the wildebeest calving, Tarangire is best avoided at this time.

Reference:

  1. “Tanzania National parks Corporate Information”. Tanzania Parks..
  2. “Trunk Twins : Elephant Twins Born in Tarangire | Asilia Africa”.
  3. Hale, T. (2016). “Incredibly Rare White Giraffe Spotted In Tanzania”. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  4. IUCN Cat Specialist Group (2006). Conservation Strategy for the Lion Panthera leo in Eastern and Southern Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: IUCN.
  5. Wilkipedia
  6. https://www.tanzaniatourism.go.tz
  7. Trip Advisor

Working as a Nurse

By Paul Mwakajila – Art in Tanzania internship

As a nurse and midwife, the main responsibility is to save the lives of people, especially a pregnant women. Despite the effort of the government and health workers the problems still exist. 


Pregnant women are in search of maternity leave occur at home, on the way, and few on services delivery areas due to late.


There are many causes for this problem.


First, the shortage of facilities and health care providers.


Traditional birth attendant (TBA), Its true that traditional birth attendant have done a great job of helping a pregnant women giving a birth especially in the year before advanced technology. But now the challenges of pregnant women are more and great, so you don’t need only experience without a knowledge and skills. 


Early marriage, there are tribes and some culture in the society they believe that a girl should get a marriage no matter how old she is, usually a women genitals (reproductive organ) need to be mature enough at least at age of 18 years so as to allow a pregnant and childbirth to be safer. This culture has become a very thorn to many girls and have led to death and mourning in many families.


There are many causes for maternal death, also chronic diseases like cancer,diabet,hypertension etc. Poor infrastructure, poor education, poor food intake during a pregnant etc.


Solution it depend on causes, despite the great effort of government, non-government organisation but there is still great need to build health facilities, to employ health care provider, educating the community about the best way to access the health care, the important of attending clinic during during pregnant, food intake during pregnancy, etc.