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New VOA Health Program Aims at Women in Tanzania

VOA Swahili journalists Esther Githui-Ewart and Mkamiti Kibayasi.
VOA Swahili journalists Esther Githui-Ewart and Mkamiti Kibayasi.

The 30-minute Swahili language program offers medical information and gives young girls a forum to talk about health-related decisions that could affect their lives forever.

Women and young girls in Tanzania are talking about critical health issues on a new VOA radio show called Crossroads: Healthy Decisions for the Youth.

The 30-minute Swahili language program examines crucial health-related decisions made by young girls, decisions that could impact their lives forever.

The premier edition of the new weekly show, which airs weekends, includes a segment called “Ask the Doctor” and a roundtable feature that gives young girls time to talk about issues that are important to them.

The program is already getting positive reviews. Managers at Sport Radio 91.2 FM, a VOA affiliate station in Tanzania, say listeners immediately started calling in after the first broadcast to say they liked the new show.

VOA Swahili Service Chief Mwamoyo Hamza says the program is more than just a place for women to get health advice, it’s a forum for discussion and a place to share both the good and bad choices they have made. “On each show, one girl will get the chance to talk about the decisions that are impacting her life. On the first program, we heard from a 15 year-old who had complications from a forced abortion. Now she’s realized she can no longer have children.”

Crossroads will be broadcast on shortwave and FM affiliate stations and will be available on the VOA Swahili website. The program, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, is also expected to reach audiences in neighboring countries.

For more information about this program contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at Visit our main website at for links to all of our programs.