White Ribbon Alliance

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Vice President orders councils to scale up maternal and child health budgets

IPP Media Tanzania

March 18, 2016
By Theresia Victor, The Guardian Tanzania

Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan this week ordered all district and municipal councils in the country to make sure that in the next financial year they allocate enough budgets to boost efforts in reducing maternal and newborn deaths and morbidity in their respective areas.

She was speaking during commemoration of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in Dar es Salaam themed: “Zero Tolerance to Maternal Death, Be Accountable.”

The VP said the allocated funds should be used to improve health service delivery in medical facilities in their localities. Samia said the municipal councils should make sure that all hospitals from the district level are well equipped with the necessary health facilities , to ensure that pregnant women deliver healthy babies and remain alive.

“If all the district and municipal councils take this task to heart as their responsibility then they will be able to help in reducing the number of deaths of mothers and new born babies during delivery countrywide,” Samia noted.

“District hospitals need to have a 100 per cent of delivery facilities at their disposal so that they can be able to help during emergencies so that both mother and child can be saved without being transferred to a far away hospital where they might lose their lives on the way,” she pointed out.

According to statistics conducted 20 years ago, maternal and childbirth rate have been slowly decreasing from 529 deaths from 100,000 lives in 1996 to 432 deaths per 100,000 lives in 2014, which is an equivalent of 7,500 per year.

She also said that newborn deaths under one month were 21 out of 1,000 lives regardless of the statistics showing that the death on maternal and newborn baby was decreasing. She warned that the situation was still critical and required necessary attention to make sure that childbirth death rates and those of under fives were well reduced.

For her part, the White Ribbon Alliance national coordinator, Rose Mlay, asked the government to make sure that they set aside enough budget for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare so that it can work toward advocating maternal and newborn health in the country.

“We want to make sure that we fight this situation that women have been facing in the country and make sure that they can feel safe when giving birth without thinking of any negativity such as dying due to poor infrastructure, or absence of doctors as well as lack of raw materials,” she noted.

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