In Tanzania, White Ribbon members saw that despite President Kikwete’s strong pledges to improving women’s health, the public and many government people didn’t know about them.
In response, White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania has been campaigning for accountability. Bringing together a powerful coalition of 4,000 members, including 100 NGOs and UN partners, White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania reached out to a wide range of people – from the Prime Minister’s Office to health care providers and individual families.
Public mobilisation rallies on Tanzania’s White Ribbon Day in March, media workshops and television talk shows – all built public demand. Meanwhile the first ever Parliamentary Committee of MPs for Safe Motherhood, convened by White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania, pressed the government to take urgent action.
District level planners were made aware of the President’s commitments and the national plans. WRA Tanzania then worked with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance to request that all district budgets include a specific line item on maternal health. They were successful, and now when a district budget is put forward without one, it is sent back by the Ministry of Finance and will not be approved until it includes maternal health.
White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania is now pushing for this budget line to be even more specific, based on the needs of each district.