Tanzania: Success Registered On Mothers' Clinic Visits

AN Antenatal Interactive System pilot project launched by the University of Dodoma (UDOM) - College of Health and Allied Sciences, has mobilised several pregnant mothers to attend clinics, besides registering success in Dodoma Region.

The three year project (2018 to 2020) was implemented at Makole and Dodoma Regional Hospital, said the college's Nursing and Midwifery Department's lecturer, Ms Theresia Masoi at the ongoing Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).

"We recorded an increase of 99 per cent in clinic attendance at the selected hospitals and health centres. The idea came after some findings, including the Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) showed an increase in maternal-related deaths, from 478 in 2010 to 556 in 2016 out of every 100,000 live births," she pointed out.

Clarifying further on how it work, Ms Masoi said it is a two-way electronic communication system, whereby the two sides (service providers and expectant mothers) communicate, whenever there is a problem.

Apart from emergency cases, the system sends text messages to alert the mothers that another clinic day/date is approaching.

The types of food one should consume during pregnancy are also part of the system's content, to let a mother and her newborn stay healthy.

Expectant mothers are also reminded on the importance of attending clinics at a very early stage of pregnancies, for thorough medical check-ups in an effort to establish possible complications, which might contribute to maternal deaths, as a result of late clinic attending.

According to Ms Masoi, a mother should start to attend clinic service(s) as soon as possible to avoid any possible maternal complications.

The technology also sends information on dangerous symptoms before, during and after baby delivery period, as well as (information on) dangerous signs to newborns.

Expectant mothers are advised to keep in touch with service providers through the newly introduced technology, where they have been attended in line with the scope of a problem, said the don.

"If the problem seems to be dangerous, such as bleeding during pregnancy, then the system directs a mother to immediately rush to a health centre. Sometimes it is fathers, who report the case because we also register spouses' telephone numbers in this system," said Ms Masoi.

Having recorded such remarkable development of the system, she said, the college looks forward to disseminating the technology countrywide, especially in remote areas, but financial constraints still bar it.

She thus advised the government to support the efforts, so as to intensify the war against maternal-related deaths.

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