Renatus Sona – Tanzania

Renatus Sona – Tanzania

Date: June 30, 2015
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Renatus Sona is a Communications Specialist at the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC) which is an ecumenical body jointly established by Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) and Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT), to facilitate Social Services with a focus on education and health services provided by member churches. His first encounter with Gender Links was in 2010 when he attended a media work in Dar es Salaam.

“I first heard about Gender Links back in 2010 when myself and a colleague at work, Rachel Mkundai were invited to a media workshop on gender balance in newsrooms in Dar res salaam. The workshop was facilitated by Gender Links Deputy Chief Executive, Kubi Rama. I was impressed by the presentations by Gender Links and the media organizations that had been invited. It was a proud moment for me when it was my organisation’s turn to present, as that time we had three women in top management the Executive Director, Chief accountant and Director of Programmes”

CSSC is developing a documentation project to enhance sharing and exchanging experiences through best practices, in order to contribute to raising awareness on health issues through documentation and dissemination of information among different stakeholders in Tanzania. CSSC identified best practice in Reproductive and child health undertaken by Dareda Hospital and decided to undertake film documentation in order to be shared with other healthcare providers.

Dareda hospital is located at Babati district in Manyara region. It’s owned by Roman Catholic diocese of Mbulu. Measures have been taken by Dareda CDH since 2007 to decrease the number of maternal deaths by conducting out-reach services “OS” (mobile) to identify the risk pregnancy mothers and taken for safe delivery care in the hospital. The target affected population is between 15-20 and 45-55 years of age, pregnant women have to walk long distance about 30-60km to reach health facilities This approach of Outreach service is good practice previously estimated about 50% of women delivered at home compared 39% observed after the above approach. Therefore, CSSC has worked out to support initiatives done by Dareda hospital by documenting this best practice to ensure mothers are getting free from maternal death.

“My gender training with Gender Links has enabled me have a gender lens when I carry out my duties in the field. When I was producing the documentary I found out that most of the pregnant mothers where not going to hospital because of some harmful cultural practices and we advised them against it.”

Sona said the impact of the work his team is doing at CSC has also been recognized by the government of Tanzania. “The permanent secretary from the Prime Minister’s office dealing with health issues Dr. Deodatus Mtasiwa while addressing guests at a stakeholders meeting said, “CSC I congratulate you for the great job that you are doing in strengthening high quality of health services provision in our country.”

Sona said he hopes to keep on documenting the lives of expectant mothers and the challenges they face in accessing health services. It is also his hope that the government continue to improve health provisions in rural areas.


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