9 November 2010: Launch of “Ukweli Kuhusu Maisha”, the Kiswahili version of “Facts for Life”
Dar es Salaam, 9 November 2010 - Tanzania today launched the 4th edition of ‘Ukweli Kuhusu Maisha”, the Kiswahili version of “Facts for Life”, a premier health promotion publication of the United Nations. The launch was done by Ms. Blandina Nyoni, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, during the official opening of the National Health Promotion meeting, at Blue Pearl Hotel in Dar es Salaam.
The ceremony was attended by more than 200 district and national level health promotion practitioners, as well as NGO and UN representatives from Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar among them Dr. R. Chatora , WHO Country Representative, and Ms. Dorothy Rozga , UNICEF Tanzania Country Representative.
Ms. Nyoni particularly lauded the efforts of making the publication available in the national language emphasizing that “by adopting it to Kiswahili, the book will benefit majority of Tanzanians as it is a very good source of essential health information for individuals and communities and will certainly promote dialogue and behaviour change in health practices in Tanzania”.
Speaking on behalf of WHO as well as other UN agencies, UNICEF Representative, Ms. Rozga , explained that this fourth edition is particularly important for health promotion in Tanzania as it offers practical steps for preventing childhood diseases, injuries and violence. For instance, it provides information on why it is important for mothers to exclusively breastfeed infants from 0-6 months (without giving water or other liquid), and the importance of completing vaccinations before a child’s first birthday.”
The Launch of “Ukweli Kuhusu Maisha” comes at a time when Tanzania is making significant improvements in under-five mortality (from 147 per 1000 live births in 1999 to 81 child deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009).
Infant mortality has also improved from 99 per 1000 live births in 1999 to 51 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2009. However under age-five child malnutrition rates remain very high; 42 percent are stunted, 16 percent are underweight and 72 percent are anemic.
Poor nutrition is common amongst women of reproductive age: one in two is chronically anemic; one in ten has a low body mass index indicating chronic energy deficiency and elevated risk during pregnancies. “Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and AIDS, together account for half of all deaths of children under age five,” said Ms. Rozga. “These diseases are largely preventable and sometimes it is a simple lack of knowledge that causes these deaths.
“Facts for Life” has benefitted millions of individuals and communities since its first publication in 1989. Some 15 million copies of previous editions have been circulated worldwide in 215 languages.
It is a co-publication by UNICEF, WHO, WFP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS and the World Bank.
For more information, please contact:
Justus Olielo, UNICEF, +255 22 2196687, firstname.lastname@example.org