Tanzania-based photographer Sala Lewis traveled with global health organization Pathfinder International to document the Tuungane program in Tanzania, which brings condoms from the urban center of Kigoma to the small villages around the Mahale National Park. Project staff travel to the field at least once every two weeks, delivering what ever supplies are needed — contraception, anti-malaria drugs or even a new radio.
The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news
Pasiens Mapunda, a reproductive health expert at Pathfinder International, told IRIN that while "women are beginning to take up family planning and facility births are increasing" challenges such as "inadequate health facilities, long distance[s] from homes to the nearest available hospital and even low staffing still remain and needs to be dealt with."
In 2011, when the Nature Conservancy joined forces with healthcare nonprofit Pathfinder International, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Tanzanian government, the partners hoped to disrupt a deepening cycle of overfishing, habitat destruction, and poverty around Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika.
Nature Conservancy, Pathfinder International Collaborate for Healthier Moms, Children, and Environment
The Tuungane project is a comprehensive, collaborative project with partner organizations like the Jane Goodall Institute, Pathfinder International, Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Tanzanian government that is aimed at empowering communities on a number of fronts at the same time.
This year, the Nature Conservancy is working with Pathfinder International in Western Tanzania to prove that protecting the health of individuals and their natural resources (food, water, soil) will improve their livelihoods significantly as opposed to only treating one issue.
"This new project is a welcome development for many reasons," said ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko. "It brings the integrated PHE approach to one of the world's greatest lakes, it enables respected health NGO Pathfinder to pursue PHE efforts, and marks the return of a leading private donor, the MacArthur Foundation, to a group of foundations willing to support this innovative approach."