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Cablegate: Ambassador Honors Doctor for Efforts to Advance Women's

VZCZCXRO9072
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHDR #0122/01 0391617
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081617Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9375
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAR ES SALAAM 000122

DEPARTMENT FOR S/GWI: MARR, AF/E: JTREADWELL; INR/RAA: FEHERENRIECH,
INR/MR, AF/PD
STATE PASS TO USAID

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KWMN PHUM KMDR SCUL KPAO SOCI TZ

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HONORS DOCTOR FOR EFFORTS TO ADVANCE WOMEN'S
ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

REF: 2009 Dar es Salaam 29

1. SUMMARY: Ambassador Alfonso Lenhardt used the Mission's most
prestigious annual award to extol the work of a woman doctor who
fights for improved family planning, disease screening and
treatment, and combating gender-based violence for Tanzanian women.
The Ambassador's remarks in honor of Dr. Marina Njelekela as head of
the Medical Women Association of Tanzania were carried and have
continued to appear in all national media since January 27. The
event elicited praise from Tanzanians from throughout society. The
"Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice" ceremony supported our
Mission goals to strengthen health outcomes and advance women's
leadership in the public arena. USAID programmed over 23 million
USD in FY09 to reduce maternal mortality (family planning and
emergency obstetric care) and gender based violence, in line with
the Tanzanian Health Sector Strategic Plan. END SUMMARY.

2. The Ambassador awarded our annual "Martin Luther King Drum Major
for Justice" Award to Dr. Marina Njelekela, Chairperson of the
Medical Women Association of Tanzania (MEWATA) on January 27, for
her efforts to improve maternal health and women's access to health
care. Under her guidance, the women doctors of MEWATA have begun
breast cancer and cervical cancer screening and awareness raising
campaigns nationwide, have launched campaigns to reduce gender-based
violence, and have worked to reduce Tanzania's maternal mortality
rate, currently a staggering 578 per 100,000 live births, which is
44 times higher than the 2007 U.S. maternal mortality rate of 13 per
100,000 live births. Joining forces with national television
station ITV, Njelekela has ensured that breast self-exam PSAs are
aired on a daily basis, imparting previously unknown information to
women throughout the country. These PSAs and MEWATA's campaign to
provide free medical care have empowered Tanzanian women to discuss
health issues more openly and to seek medical intervention earlier.
The award also recognized Njelekela's advocacy for improved maternal
health and family planning provisions in the national health
agenda.

3. At the ceremony in honor of a Tanzanian who has waged a peaceful
battle for equality and justice in the spirit of Martin Luther King,
the Ambassador said to Dr. Njelekela, "It is my honor to present to
you this... award for your successful efforts to advance equality in
health care for all Tanzanians. Your focus on improving access to
health care makes you a leader in the fight for women's equality.
The people of the United States of America will continue to shine a
light of support on your quest for a healthy Tanzanian population
accessing affordable and sustainable health services."

Media Coverage
--------------
4. In addition to television news coverage of the event run on all
national stations, a full length program covering the ceremony has
been rerun at least three times on ITV over the past week. In print
media, "The Guardian" (independent, moderate, reliable English,
25,000 daily circulation) carried a front page photo on January 28,
and the paper's January 29 editorial was entitled, "We salute you,
Dr. Njelekela" (media reaction septel). More than a dozen
additional stories have been carried almost daily over the past two
weeks in print media including in "Nipashe" (independent, reliable
Kiswahili, 80,000 daily circulation), "Mwananchi" (independent,
reliable Kiswahili, 20,000 daily circulation), "Majira"
(independent, radical/anti-government, Kiswahili 20,000 daily
circulation), "Habari Leo" (Kiswahili, 10,000 daily circulation), a
feature article in "Nipashe Jamii." English articles were carried
in The Sunday Citizen Magazine (independent reliable, 6,500 weekly
circulation) with a feature entitled "Honoring a benevolent Doctor,"
in "The Express" (independent, reliable 6,000 weekly circulation),
and in "The Citizen," (independent, reliable, 6,000 daily
circulation). English and Kiswahili radio stations carried news of
the ceremony in their morning "newspaper review" programs and in
ongoing stories.

5. Following the ceremony, the Ambassador received dozens of
congratulatory comments within Dar es Salaam and during his trip to
the Parliamentary session in Dodoma - an indication that the media
coverage of the ceremony reached wide audiences and that our choice
of an awardee and Ambassador's message at the ceremony resonated
with Tanzanians of all walks of life, from the grassroots to the
ministerial level. In a message to the Public Diplomacy Officer,
Dr. Njelekela said that "the award has been taken very, very
positively by the medical profession and the public in general. I
have so far received hundreds of messages, emails, and phone calls
congratulating me and MEWATA as a whole for this great achievement."
During media interviews, Njelekela commented that receiving the
award has challenged her to intensify her efforts to reach more
Tanzanian women.

Continued USG Support for Maternal Health Promotion

DAR ES SAL 00000122 002 OF 002


--------------------------------------------- ------
6. The Mission continues vigorous engagement to advance women's
leadership and mobilize activists around policy initiatives of
concern to women in all sectors. Njelekela's efforts to reaching
rural Tanzanian women led the Public Affairs Section to commit a
$1,000 grant to MEWATA to strengthen their outreach programs. USAID
continues to engage with MEWATA and Dr. Njelekela to collaborate in
a range of women's health programs including family planning,
delivery and emergency obstetric care, and reducing gender based
violence under USAID's $23 million women's health portfolio. In
follow-up discussions February 3, Dr. Njelekela called the period
since the award "an exciting week" that would be "remembered over a
lifetime."

LENHARDT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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