The United Republic of Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, covering 940,000 square kilometres, 60,000 of which are inland water. Tanzania lies south of the equator and shares borders with eight countries: Kenya and Uganda to the North; Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia to the West; and Malawi and Mozambique to the South.
Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika) became independent of British colonial rule on 9 December 1961. One year later, on 9 December 1962, it became a republic, severing all links with the British crown except for its membership in the Commonwealth. The offshore island of Zanzibar became independent on 12 January 1964, after the overthrow of the rule of the sultanate. On 26 April 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
The projected population of the country in 2016 was 50.1 million. Although the population of Tanzania has increased four times its earlier size in the past four decades, the country is still sparsely populated. In 1967, the average population density was 14 persons per square kilometre; by 2012, it had increased to 51 persons per square kilometre. The high population growth rate in Tanzania has been brought about by high fertility and declining mortality levels. According to the 2012 census, the life expectancy at birth is 62 years.
Source: extracted from Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey 2015-16
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Key findings from the 2015-16 TDHS-MIS on the situation of SRHR in Tanzania are as follows:
- The maternal mortality ratio is 556 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
- Ninety-eight percent of women received antenatal care from a skilled provider for their most recent birth.
- Sixty-three percent of births occur in a health facility, primarily in public sector facilities.
- Sixty-four percent of births are assisted by a skilled provider. Medically assisted births are more common among women in urban areas (87%), women who have completed secondary or higher education (91%), and women in the highest wealth quintile (95%).
- Thirty-four percent of women received a postnatal checkup within two days of delivery, while 63% did not receive a postnatal checkup within 41 days of delivery.
- The total fertility rate for Tanzanian women is 2 births per woman.
- The total fertility rate has declined significantly over the past decade, from 5.7 children in the 2004-05 TDHS to the current TFR of 5.2 children.
- Rural women have 2.2 more children on average than urban women.
- The median age at first birth is 19.8 among young people aged 20-49.
- Thirty-eight percent of married women aged 15-49 use some method of contraception, and 32% use a modern method.
- Among currently married women, the most commonly used methods are injectables (13%), followed by implants (7%) and pills (6%).
- While government sources provide 67% of injectables, the most popular method, other sources (including pharmacies, accredited drug dispensing outlets and shops/kiosks) provide 87% of male condoms.
HIV & AIDS:
- According to the HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey 2011-12, knowledge of AIDS is universal, with almost 100% of all respondents having heard of AIDS.
- There is widespread knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention methods. Sixty-nine percent of women know that a person’s chance of getting the AIDS virus can be reduced by using condoms.
- Eighty-four percent of women know that the chance of becoming infected with the AIDS virus is reduced by limiting sexual intercourse to one uninfected partner who has no other partners.
- About six in ten women say that a woman is justified in refusing to have sex with her husband if he has sex with women other than his wives.
- Almost two-thirds of Tanzanian women (62%) aged 15-49 have ever been tested for HIV and received the results.
- Fifty percent of care for the STIs and/or symptoms of STIs from a clinic, hospital, or health professional.
- Eighty-five percent of women know that HIV can be transmitted through breastfeeding; 68% of women know that the risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) can be reduced by the mother taking special drugs during pregnancy.
Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Child Early & Forced Marriage (CEFM):
- Twenty-seven percent of adolescent women aged 15-19 are already mothers or are pregnant with their first child.
- Teenage childbearing also varies by economic status, ranging from 13% among adolescent women in the wealthiest households to 42% among those in the poorest households.
- Fourteen percent of women aged 25-49 initiate sex before age 15, and 61% of women do so before age 18.
- Women marry two years after sexual initiation at a median age of 19.2 years.
- Sixty-two percent of women aged 15-49 are in union (married or living together).
- Thirty-six percent of women aged 25-49 are married by age 18.
- Eighteen percent of Tanzanian women are in a polygynous union and have at least one co-wife.
Violence Against Women (VAW):
- Fifty-eight percent of women agree with one or more reasons justifying wife beating.
- Forty-two percent of ever-married women have experienced spousal violence, whether physical or sexual.
- The most widely accepted reason for wife beating among women in Tanzania is neglecting the children (48%).
- Four in ten women have experienced physical violence since age 15.
- Seventeen percent of women have ever experienced sexual violence.
- Eight percent of women aged 15-49 who have ever been pregnant have experienced violence during pregnancy.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
- Ten percent of women aged 15- 49 have been circumcised, a decline from 18% in the 1996 TDHS.
- The most common type of FGC involves the cutting and removal of flesh (81%).
- Thirty-five percent of circumcised women age 15-49 were circumcised before age 1 and 28% were circumcised at age 13 or older.
- FGC/M prevalence in rural areas is more than double that in urban areas.
- Eighty-six percent of women’s circumcisions were performed by traditional agents.
- Among the 86% of women who have heard of FGC/M, 95% believe that the practice is not required by their religion and that the practice should not be continued.