Arusha — FIRST Lady, Mama Salma Kikwete, is expected to grace the climax of the 'Global Maternal Health Conference,' being held here to address issues of maternal mortality and morbidity cases.
According to the event organisers, Mama Kikwete will address over 700 experts in maternal health and allied fields, as she closes the three-day conference on Thursday.
Organized by the US-based Harvard School of Public Health through its Maternal Health Task Force, in association with the Dar es Salaam Management and Development for Health (MDH), the conference has brought delegates from nearly 70 countries to attend the Arusha event.
"Maternal deaths are still a serious problem around the world where an average of 300,000 women lose their lives while delivering babies," stated Dr Chalamila Guerino, the Chief Executive Officer for the Management and Development for Health.
According to Dr Guerino, the situation in Tanzania is not encouraging . "At least 454 out of every 100,000 expectant mothers who report for deliveries in local hospitals in the country die," said MDH officer.Surprisingly Dar es Salaam City, which should be more advanced in terms of medical services and outlets in the country, tops the bill when it comes to the highest number of maternity deaths in Tanzania.
"Actual maternal mortality and morbidity cases are mostly experienced in urban areas compared to the rural parts, due to such incidences that are frequently reported in towns than in villages where less people attend clinical services," he pointed out.
He, however, added that maternal mortality have been reduced by 50 per cent around the globe and during the Arusha-held Conference, which runs from Tuesday, January 15 to Thursday, the 17th of January, this year - experts from countries that have succeeded in cutting down maternal deaths will be giving testimonies and sharing experiences.
The Arusha held Global Maternal Health Conference, 2013 is taking place for the second time since the maiden event which was held in New Delhi City of India in 2010.
According to the organisers, these are series of technical conferences for practitioners, scientists, researchers and policy-makers to network, share knowledge and build on progress toward eradicating preventable maternal
mortality and morbidity by improving the quality of maternal health care.