AN initiative advocating for safe delivery was launched in Kigoma region yesterday, where it was discovered that only 47 per cent of women give birth in health facilities.
The campaign dubbed, 'Mjamzito na Mtoto Salama ni Wajibu Wetu' aimed at improving maternal and newborn care in Kigoma and is being executed by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children in collaboration with Thamini Uhai.
Kigoma Regional Commissioner (RC), Brigadier General (rtd) Emmanuel Maganga said the campaign encourages women to plan and prepare for birth and to recognise danger signs during pregnancy and seek immediate care when they notice them.
"The campaign goes hand in hand with the government's strategy to eliminate maternal and newborn mortality by building maternity wards for pregnant women in all health facilities across the country." he said.
Dr. Paul Chaote, the Kigoma Regional Medical Officer said that to reduce maternal deaths, emergency obstetric and newborn care services must be available 24/7 and women and their families must know the benefits of using facility-based services without delay. The campaign will feature radio ads and a radio magazine show, 'Mjamzito na Mtoto Salama ni Wajibu Wetu' (Healthy Mother and Baby is Our Responsibility), which will air on local radios.
Executive Director of Thamini Uhai, Dr Nguke Mwakatundu said, "The campaign will hopefully reach a wide audience and help pregnant women understand the need for safe delivery.
This will push the region forward towards attaining the maternal and newborn targets stipulated in One Plan II." Thamini Uhai is a Tanzanian non-governmental organisation that has been supporting national efforts to reduce maternal and early neonatal deaths in Tanzania since 2008.
Working with the government of Tanzania and non-governmental partners, Thamini Uhai builds capacity to provide high quality, safe and reliable emergency, obstetric and neonatal care in government facilities. Thamini Uhai is currently supporting 50 health facilities in Kigoma region.