White Ribbon Alliance


Public participation to reduce maternal death

IPP Tanzania

April 16, 2015
By Kenneth Symbaia

Maternal, children and newborn death can be minimised if there is participation between government and the public on tackling healthcare related challenges in communities.

The White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania (WRATZ) National Coordinator, Rose Mlay said during the citizen hearing campaign in Handeni, Kilindi and Korogwe districts in Tanga Region mid-week that health related issues deserves more stakeholders’ participation if the government is to attain the desired goal.

Ms Mlay said the citizen hearing programme aims at ensuring that deliberate actions are taken on women, children and newborn heath.

She said the government needs to carry out sensitization campaigns to the public on various projects that aims to reduce maternal death.

According to the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare statistics, about 7,900 mothers die annually from pregnancy related complications while 40,000 babies fails to survive the first month of their lives.

The report says 80% of these deaths could be saved if the governments ensure that the plan on Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Newborn and Child Care (CEmONC) are implemented.

The plan details on government pathways in reducing maternal, newborn and child deaths countrywide.

WRATZ Board of Director Chairman Craig John Ferla said their organisation’s day that is celebrated on April seven each year reflects on the prevention of maternal and newborn deaths.

Ferla estimates that around 8,000 women in the country have died since last year’s White Ribbon Day, the number that equals to Ebola victims in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in the same period.

“Maternal deaths are preventable and we have the capacity to reverse the trend. More resources should be directed on intervention and save the lives of mothers and babies” he said. He adds, “Political will in maternal, newborn and child health, and strong evidence-based national strategies backed by health investments are needed to achieve the goals”.

Tanzania has in recent years attained achievements on goal five of the Millennium Development Goals that strived to reduce maternal death by 75 per cent by December 2015.

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