White Ribbon Alliance

WRATZ & Prime Minister

Tanzanian Prime Minister meets with WRA members

January 29, 2014
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (WRA) – In the last week of January, Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda sat down with members of the White Ribbon Alliance to discuss maternal health, and to revisit the Government’s commitment to ensure the availability of emergency obstetric care.

The White Ribbon Alliance Coordinator in Tanzania, Ms. Rose Mlay, stated that “the Prime Minister listened very attentively as we presented the problem, solution and our asks. We requested him to issue a directive to the Prime Minister's Office regional administration and local government to create a budget line in national and district budget templates, so that health centers can provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care, including caesarean section and safe blood transfusion.”

Rose Mlay compared the 23 women dying in childbirth every day in Tanzania to a daily plane crash, and added that if that was the case, a system to prevent it from happening again would have been instituted within 48 hours. Upon hearing this comparison, the Prime Minister gained a new perspective on the tragedy of maternal death, and recognized the need to convene leaders to collectively develop a long-term solution.

Hon. Pinda agreed to the requests made by White Ribbon Alliance members immediately, promising to discuss the issue with the Minister of Health, and other relevant authorities. Nevertheless, one of his concerns was that the implementers enacting policy from their desks might not realize the magnitude of this human tragedy. To elevate the issue even further, the Prime Minister decided to join Alliance members on White Ribbon Day in March, at which he will share a concrete plan of action.

During this visit Hon. Pinda met with National Coordinator Rose Mlay and other White Ribbon Alliance members from Jhpiego, CARE, Plan (Wazazi na Mwana), Evidence4Action, Medical Women Association of Tanzania, and Tanzania Registered Midwives’ Association.