Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024: Investing in Women to Accelerate Progress towards Mental Health, Gender Equality and Environment in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – March 27, 2024 – Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam (AKHD), a leading private tertiary healthcare institution in Tanzania, stands in solidarity with the global community to celebrate International Women’s Day 2024 (IWD) under the theme “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”. This occasion marks a significant opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable role women play in both healthcare and society, highlighting the pressing need for gender inclusivity to advance Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 5, and 13 – Good Health and Well-being, Gender Equity, and Climate Action, respectively.

The significance of International Women’s Day 2024 lies in its resounding call for unified efforts to empower women across spheres, including healthcare, thereby nurturing inclusive and sustainable development. Recognizing the pivotal role women play in advancing healthcare delivery, driving innovation, and fostering community well-being, AKHD is proud to collaborate with the CHOICE Project from the Institute for Global Health and Development, Aga Khan University Pakistan.  Together we convened a gathering of healthcare experts, gender stakeholders, and commemorate International Women’s Day 2024. Distinguished figures such as Ms. Imelda Urio, a human rights and gender consultant from Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) and Ms. Catherine Kasimbazi, Head of Knowledge, Research, and Analysis at the Tanzania Gender Networking Platform (TGNP) participated in a thought-provoking panel discussion shedding light on the intricate intersections of climate change, gender inequality, and mental health.

Acknowledging climate change as the paramount global health threat of the century, as identified by the World Health Organization, AKHD underscores its disproportionate toll on women and girls. Women face amplified challenges including heightened rates of gender-based violence, exacerbated mental health struggles, educational disruptions, and increased vulnerability to early marriage due to shifting environmental conditions. By examining climate change through a gender-sensitive, it becomes evident that it embodies a dual crisis: both an environmental challenge and gender equity imperative.

International Women’s Day serves as a catalyst for raising awareness on gender inequality, advocating for women’s rights, and driving progress. This year’s theme, “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,” underscores the imperative of investing in women’s empowerment, education, and opportunities to expedite global strides toward gender parity and inclusive development.

Dr. Muzdalifat Abeid, consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at AKHD, stressed the critical necessity of including comprehensive support services within healthcare, such as counseling and therapy and safe spaces for survivors, to address the mental health impacts of GBV and discrimination. She also highlighted that this must go together with interventions aimed at changing societal norms and behaviors to prevent such violence and discrimination from occurring in the first place.

Mr. Sisawo Konteh, Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania, emphasized, “The future of our nation hinges on investing in the advancement of women and girls, with their well-being as a pivotal outcome across all sectors.”

Ms. Maria Matui, National Coordinator of the Gender and Climate Change Tanzania Coalition (GCCTC) commended AKHD for its advocacy efforts in addressing the social determinants of health, recognizing it as integral to providing high-quality, patient-centered care.

In alignment with SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being, AKHD remains steadfast in prioritizing women’s health through comprehensive and accessible healthcare services tailored to address their unique needs. Championing SDG 5 – Gender Equality, AKHD fosters mentorship programs, leadership training, and initiatives aimed at eradicating gender-based discrimination. Furthermore, AKHD is committed to implementing eco-friendly practices to mitigate its carbon footprint, acknowledging the imperative of addressing climate change and its disproportionate impact on women, as emphasized in SDG 13 – Climate Action.

On this International Women’s Day, AKHD reaffirms its resolute commitment to investing in women and accelerating progress toward achieving SDGs 3, 5, and 13 in Tanzania. Through collaborative partnerships, advocacy, and innovative initiatives, AKHD remains dedicated to forging a more equitable and sustainable future where every woman can flourish, contribute to societal advancement, and foster a more inclusive and resilient world for all.

Together, let us continue to empower women, break down barriers, and build a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.


About Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania

Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) stands as one of the pivotal agencies within the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), dedicated to advancing health initiatives. Operating as a private, not-for-profit organization, AKHS has established itself as an integrated health system spanning across Tanzania. It boasts robust linkages and partnerships with the government of Tanzania, primarily through the Ministry of Health, alongside other key national and international stakeholders. The organization comprises two hospitals located in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam, along with 27 Outreach Health Centres (OHCs) spread across 13 regions of mainland Tanzania, and an additional facility situated in Zanzibar Island.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Davies W. Nyari
+255 688 263 695

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