THE percentage of pregnant women who deliver at health facilities in the country has lately increased from 51 to 63 per cent, the National Assembly was told on Tuesday.
Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, made the remarks when responding to a supplementary question by Special Seats MP Ms Zubeda Sakuru (Chadema).
Ms Sakuru had asked the government to explain strategies for empowering midwives to assist pregnant women to deliver babies conveniently, particularly in remote areas which lack health facilities.
A midwife is a trained health professional who helps women during labor, delivery, and after the birth of their babies.
Midwives may deliver babies at birthing centers or at home, but most can also deliver babies at a hospital.
The deputy minister explained that construction of health centres in many parts of the country coupled with increased awareness among members of the public had significantly increased the percentage of women who deliver at health facilities.
"The government recognizes the significance of midwives for their roles in assisting women during delivery and we have thus been making best use of them to both sensitize delivery at health facilities and support them during labour," he explained.
Dr Ndugulile noted further that Tanzania was among countries which had ratified the Convention on Safe Delivery which was endorsed in Egypt in 1994.
According to the deputy minister, the convention, among other factors, requires pregnant women to be attended by professional health practitioners during delivery to save the lives of the mother and the newborn in case of any complication.