White Ribbon Alliance

White Ribbon Alliance 2014 Campaign Update

July 24, 2014
Uganda | Tanzania | Nigeria | Malawi

Tanzania4White Ribbon Alliance Uganda is campaigning to hold the government accountable to its commitment to ensure that basic emergency obstetric and newborn care is available at all county (level IV) and sub-country (level III) health centers and that comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care is available in 50% of county (level IV) health centers.

The Alliance conducted an assessment of the health facilities in the districts of Kabale, Lira and Mityana and found that not one of the health facilities were able to provide the required level of care. With the findings from this assessment, WRA Uganda has persuaded policymakers at the district and national levels to make emergency obstetric and newborn care a priority in the 2015 budget.

As a result, the Government of Uganda has issued an 18% salary raise for enrolled midwives and nurses, lab and anaesthetic assistants, effective July 2014. In addition, there is a 13% salary increase for registered midwives and nurses, anaesthetic officers, operating theatre assistants, lab technicians and medical doctors. The Ministry of Health requested an additional UGX 28 billion to fill the health worker gap at health centers III and IV. In three target districts (Kabale, Lira and Mityana), District Officials have committed to allocating specific funds to address barriers to EmONC ranging from building and equipping maternity units to connecting health facilities to the national power grid so that health workers no longer have to work by candlelight.

RoseMlayWhite Ribbon Alliance Tanzania is campaigning to ensure that the government upholds its commitment to ensuring that comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC) is available in 50% of health centers nationwide. The Alliance in Tanzania conducted health facility assessments and found massive shortages in the availability of life-saving services. WRA Tanzania persuaded key policy and decision makers, including Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, to champion this issue, and he directed all districts to include a specific budget line for CEmONC in their health plans. As a result of WRA Tanzania’s campaign efforts and the leadership of Prime Minister Pinda, all of the 169 district health plans (Comprehensive Council Health Plans) now include specific funds to improve the availability of comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care.

Tanzania2White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria is campaigning to embed the right to respectful maternity care at all levels of the health system in Nigeria. In 2013, as a result of WRA’s efforts, Nigeria became the first country to adopt the Respectful Maternity Care Charter: The Universal Rights of Childbearing Women, and to establish respectful maternity care as a national standard of practice. WRA Nigeria is now working with Kwara State Commissioner of Health Alhaji Issa Kayode Abdul to make sure that Respectful Maternity Care is a standard of practice in all health facilities in the state. WRAN will be working with the community and health workers at six health centers in Illorin West Local Government to assess the barriers to respectful maternity care. Information from the target facilities will be used to develop Nigeria’s first state level RMC implementation plan.

Tanzania3White Ribbon Alliance Malawi is campaigning to promote the status of midwives in Malawi, and ensuring that the government invests more in midwives and midwifery services. In 2014, White Ribbon submitted a policy brief that evidences the need for more investment in midwives in order to save lives and provide quality care to pregnant women in Malawi. Already in the first half of the year, the Ministry of Health has given midwifery more attention by renaming the Directorate of Nursing to the Directorate of Nursing and Midwifery, and by redefining midwifery-training centers into colleges.