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Getting fathers involved to increase vitamin A coverage in Tanzania

© Nutrition International

In Tanzania, many fathers view the delivery of vitamin A supplements (VAS) to their children as their wife’s responsibility, but Canada’s support to Nutrition International is helping to change this view.

In December 2020, Anatory Nyahunge, a community health worker in Lagangabilili village, began directly engaging men to involve them in the country’s vitamin A supplement program. During market days, Nyahunge and other healthcare workers shared educational materials with fathers and emphasized the importance of VAS services for their children. In addition, radio stations played audio clips featuring a man seeking VAS services. In more remote areas, male community leaders were approached to become influencers within their communities.

Due to this exposure, Nyahunge says male attitudes have shifted. “With time, they [men] are wondering why they are not responsible for their children. With time, they want to be involved in all health issues for their children.”

Nutrition International provided cooking demonstrations, in which Nyahunge was able to get men to participate. “Engaging them in planning brings good change to the community,” says Nyahunge. “They are becoming agents of change.”

In addition to encouraging fathers to help their children access key health and nutrition interventions, the project is inspiring men to take a more active role in household tasks such as cooking or collecting water.

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