April 9, 2008

Mama Salma Kikwete aimiza TEKNOHAMA- ICT

The First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete has said that it would be vital for the Tanzanian community to keep pace with the advancement of communications technology in order to maximize its full potential for the benefit of the society in general. The First Lady said this at the American University in Washington DC when she presented a paper on Investing in Education and Health Economic Empowerment and the Role of Communication: WAMA’s Communication strategy. The event was organized by the US based Non-Governmental organization Network for the Improvement of World Health in collaboration with School of Communication , American University AU. Mama Kikwete who is also the chairperson of the Wanawake Na Maendeleo foundation WAMA said that communication was the enabling tool WAMA uses to achieve its goals and that communication is the process through which ideas are expressed and information is exchanged between individuals. “ WAMA cares about the ideas we communicate as much as we do the means through which we transmit them,” the First Lady said adding that WAMA in line with the National HIV/AIDS communications strategy is engaged in a number of different activities to protect vulnerable groups in the society especially women and children and improve their health in general. She said her foundation launched the campaign with a theme” Treat Every Child as Your Own” to mobilize communities in Tanzania to respond to the country’s challenges regarding youth HIV/AIDS prevention and support for orphans and vulnerable children. WAMA chairperson further revealed that her foundation was currently working on a national mass media program entitled ” Save a Un born Child” a maternal and child health campaign that includes a focus on the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. “The campaign uses an integrated approach of billboards, radio, and Television spots as well as print material throughout the country to educate pregnant women about the importance of getting tested for HIV to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children if they are HIV positive,” she said. Mama Kikwete said WAMA seek to share the experience of women and young people with a larger Tanzanian family a move that necessitates the need to move beyond standard mass media campaigns towards other approaches that utilize the newest forms of Communication technology namely, the internet. In his vote of thanks, The Dean of America University School of Communication Dr. Larry Kirkman thanked Mama Kikwete for her presentation and said the school will establish links with WAMA, in the near future, in order to enable the students do their research and other projects in Tanzania adding that the foundation was an ideal place for students to experience what they learn theoretically. The First Lady is in the US at the invitation of Network for The Improvement of the World Health, a trip that aims at forging collaborative links with similar objectives with WAMA in order to implement the foundation’s five year strategic plan with programs geared towards Girl Child Education, maternal and Child Health, Care for orphans and vulnerable children and empowerment of Women.

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