Tanzania: Haemorrhage, Eclampsia Critical in Njombe Region

DESPITE a big drop in the number of maternal deaths in the country, haemorrhage and eclampsia remain major problems and a cause of maternal deaths in Njombe Region.

This was said by the Reproductive and Child Health Coordinator, Felisia Hyera during the Maternal and Child Mortality review meeting held in Njombe Region recently, which brought together regional and district health management teams.

"There is insufficient knowledge on haemorrhage and eclampsia which cause perinatal asphyxia in Njombe Region," she said.

Hyera added that Njombe Region had a low number of maternal deaths compared to other regions in the country but hemorrhage and pregnancy induced hypertension tended to cause most of the deaths in the region.

For example, between January and December 2019, the region recorded 23 maternal deaths, out of which eight were caused by hemorrhage and four, pregnant induced hypertension.

She said that Wanging'ombe District recorded six maternal deaths. Apart from having a low number of maternal deaths in the region, peri-natal deaths tend to be high, registering 350 in 2019.

Njombe town council recorded the highest number followed by Makambako and Wanging'ombe district councils.

Hyera said that the timely delivery of antenatal services and health facilities were among the strategies that were applied to curb maternal deaths.

This, he explained, was because healthcare workers were able to detect worrisome signs amongst pregnant women and find better ways to make timely interventions.

She cited programmes like Naweza which is under the Tulonge Afya project which provides health education to pregnant women and their partners on early antenatal service visits and called other partners to join hands to reduce deaths.

Njombe Regional Nursing Officer Sophia Mfungati said that during the January-June 2020 period, the region recorded a low number of women who died from pregnant complications (12) and perinatal deaths (156).

She said that by attending and delivering at health facilities, pregnant women are given guidelines on how to take care of their health and that of their babies, adding that partners' support and engagement had contributed to the success.

Speaking at the meeting, the USAID Tulonge Afya Zonal Manager, Elia Ndutila, said that they were proud that the programme they had been supporting had helped to reduce maternal deaths in Njombe.

The programme operates in 12 regions through the Naweza adult platform with the aim of promoting positive health practices in households and communities by transforming socio-cultural norms and supporting the adoption of healthier behaviours in respect of HIV, malaria, family planning, maternal and child health and TB.

"We are happy to see many pregnant women attend clinics early as well as health facilities," said Mr Ndutila.

The maternal and child mortality review meeting was organised by the regional team and brought together district medical Officers, district nursing officers, district reproductive and child health coordinators and district quality improvement focal persons from all councils in Njombe Region.

Njombe Regional Medical officer Dr Bumi Mwamasage conveyed gratitude for all the efforts made by USAID Tulonge Afya on their tireless efforts conducted at community level, to ensure that Njombe Region's maternal deaths remained low.

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