4 November 2013

Tanzania: Fresh Move to Protect Pregnant Women

A NEW medication for prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) has been introduced in the country. This is a fresh move that targets reducing the number of maternal deaths currently standing at 13,000 per year.

The Misoprostal tablets going with its brand name MISOCLEAR will be supplied across the country as number one life saver for victims of PPH, which according to statistics, claims the lives of 5,250 women each year. Launching the medicine at the weekend, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Mr Charles Pallangyo, said the move is part of the government's pledge towards reaching Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the health sector.

"Various organisations including venture studies have shown that the use on misoprostol in areas where oxytocin is not available, plays a very important role in prevention of post-partum hemorrhage.

"This cannot just be accomplished by launching this product but making it available to all women regardless of geographical location," he said. The medicines will be supplied by Bahari Pharmaceutical Company on behalf of Marie Stoppes Tanzania (MST) which has been tasked to make it.

The medical drug is distributed and dispensed at a subsidised price of not more than 2,000/- per dose. The Permanent Secretary thanked the donor community for funding the sexual and reproductive health services in the country, which will help in bringing positive impact to Tanzanian women and their children.

He challenged the women in the country to take action, to proactively seek health education on prevention and treatment of postpartum haemorrhage before they follow into the problem.

"This is where we need concerted efforts from the government to development partners in ensuring that women have access to both information and resources to help prevent this major killer is a major factor in slowing our economic development," he said.

On her side, the MST Country Director, Ms Ulla Muller commended the government for its committed to reducing maternal mortality but cautioned the country was still facing huge challenges in meeting its Millennium Development Goal 5 target of reducing maternal mortality rate to 133 by 2015.

"The government of Tanzania is committed to reduce maternal deaths and increase child survival. It needs government, implementing partners, communities and parents to join forces. We need to think out of the box and continue to innovate the way we will serve the women and couples in Tanzania," she said.

She also called for the government to invest more in reproductive health and Family Planning services particularly in reducing maternal and child deaths, increase the budget and use its own revenue to increase access to services.

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