‘Seeing is believing.’ It might sound cliché, but our parliamentary delegations prove that there is power and truth behind this phrase. Seeing the progress made towards ending extreme poverty and meeting the people whose lives have been impacted thanks to Canadian funding brings the story of Canadian aid to life and is an experience that you just can’t get from reading a report. Delegations provide a great opportunity to show cross partisan support for aid investments on either side of the aisle.
In January 2020, Results Canada had the opportunity to take 2 Members of Parliament (MPs), Conservative MP Lianne Rood and Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara, to see first-hand the impact of Canadian funded projects in Tanzania. We met teachers, health workers and community members; all dedicated to ensuring all Tanzanians have equitable access to education, health and opportunity. As Tanzania is one of the top recipients of Canadian aid, Canada plays a role in supporting their work through programs and partnerships.
Thanks to the support of Canadian partners in Tanzania including WaterAid Canada, Amref Health Africa and Nutrition International, we were able to visit health centres, schools and community posts to see how improvements were being made in the areas of maternal and child health, access to clean water and good hygiene and proper nutrition. We learned how the construction of new, safer facilities is helping to reduce the number of maternal mortalities in rural Tanzania. In one health centre, the number of deliveries increased from 25/month to between 140-160 deliveries/month simply because more mothers trusted the care they would receive, reducing the number of risky home births and ensuring mothers and their babies have a healthy start.
We also visited an urban health centre where we learned about the immunization work funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a global health partnership that is supported by the Government of Canada. Here we learned how a municipality in Dar es Salaam was able to digitize immunization records in 46 health facilities through the use of tablets - meaning more accurate records for patients and increased quality of care from health care workers.
Both MPs have returned to Canada with a fresh perspective on the importance of Canadian aid and are looking forward to raising important global health issues within Parliament. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the MPs had to say about their experience:
“There are many people here [in Tanzania] that are living below the poverty line but when we inject resources into these communities we’re seeing progress in their maternal health, immunization rates, nutrition and that leads to the overall health of Tanzanians, specifically in rural communities.”– Marwan Tabbara, Member of Parliament
“Canadians should be proud because we’re having a huge impact on the lives of a lot of people, and I’m proud to have represented Canada in Tanzania.”– Lianne Rood, Member of Parliament