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'Makambako Kanyaga Twende' a hit

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 13:04

The 'Makambako Kanyaga Twende' event main stage.Thousands attended 'Makambako Kanyaga Twende', which encouraged healthy behavior change and provided services relating to HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning and safe motherhood.

Growing up, Happy Mpete had to wait days before getting the results of her malaria tests. But now, thanks to advances in medical technology, learning her malaria results only takes minutes.

“Today I could see the malaria test and received my results in fifteen minutes,” said Happy. “It is very easy to test for malaria nowadays!”

Happy is one of the more than five thousand people who attended ‘Makambako Kanyaga Twende’ in late February. The four-day event, whose name means "Makambako, step up! Let's go!" in Swahili, brought residents from all over the district together to learn and seek services relating to HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning and safe motherhood.

TCDC worked with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through Njombe’s regional health management team and Makambako Town Council’s management team, as well as with TACAIDS and U.S. government partners to put on the event. Service sites were set up in all nine wards of Makambako Town Council to provide HIV and malaria testing, condom demonstrations and distribution, cervical cancer screenings and voluntary circumcision for willing men.

“I was so impressed to learn that these different services were within our reach,” said one 63-year old man who attended. “I was able to test for malaria and was motivated to get circumcised after learning about its benefits.”

Mobile video units and road shows were sent around Makambako town to show videos and movies promoting the service sites and encouraging positive behavior change. Professional facilitators provided audience members an opportunity to address common concerns and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, malaria, family planning and safe motherhood.

The event also included stage performances that brought some of Tanzania’s hottest pop stars together. These stars, including Kib Q, Linah and Rich Mavoko, used some of their most popular songs as a platform to advocate for adopting a healthier lifestyle. Concert-goers were also treated to performances by local dance and acrobat troupes. TCDC set up kiosks around the concert area to give residents the opportunity to engage with local health professionals and receive health services.

Over the four days of the event, 2200 residents were tested for HIV; over 1900 were tested for malaria; over 40,000 condoms were distributed, including 2000 female condoms; 151 women were screened for cervical cancer and 107 men volunteered for circumcision.

“The results in service provision demonstrate the dedication of our partners and the health professionals we worked with,” said Abu Msemo, TCDC’s media and events manager. “This event is a testament to the fact that, with proper education and motivation, people will go that extra mile to take charge of their health.”



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Last modified on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 17:39
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