THE Amref Health Africa in Tanzania will embark on an initiative to raise 1bn/- for funding programmes meant to improve maternal health in the Isles.
With the theme ‘Support Medical Equipment and Supplies for Safe Delivery’, Amref Health Africa (Tanzania) in collaboration with the Zanzibar Ministry of Health, has announced the ‘Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging 2023 (Run-Walk-Jog) event to take place in Zanzibar on August 26th this year.
The event is expected to be graced by President Hussein Mwinyi and aims at raising over 1bn/- in three consecutive years (2022-24) to improve safe delivery and maternal health while reducing maternal and child mortality in the health facilities to be identified in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar’s Minister for Health, Mr Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, spoke of the initiative during a media briefing at his office at Mnazi Mmoja over the weekend.
“It is unfortunate that Zanzibar is one of the developing countries with highest rate of maternal and infant mortality, necessitating serious interventions,” he said.
The recent statistics show a 134/100,000 mortality ratio while the infant rate is 28 per 1000 live births, the disturbing figures in a population of 1.8 million (2022 National census).
“Some and perhaps most contributing reasons to these deaths can be avoided or controlled,” Mr Mazrui emphasised.
He mentioned some of challenges leading to maternal and infant mortality as insufficient skilled labour and medical equipment, too much time to wait for ambulance or poor emergency services and unplanned pregnancies.
Others are ignorance, myths, misconception surrounding or rejecting family planning, a problem that lead to high birth rate of 3.7 per cent.
However, Health Minister Mazrui said that despite the challenges in promoting family planning, the government with support from development partners, has been taking different measures including improving health facilities, to stop or minimise maternal and child mortality in the country.
Announcing the ‘Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging 2023,’ Mr Mazrui appreciated the efforts by Amref Health Africa and its stakeholders through the Ministry of Health for the success recorded in the previous event which mobilised and brought together many public institutions, private sector, business companies, various sponsors and individuals who contributed for the initiative.
In his speech, Minister Mazrui recognised all stakeholders who contributed during the 2022 event whereby medical equipment worth 50m/- were received and delivered to the targeted health facilities.
More equipment worth 221m/- are in the procurement process and will be handed over in the next round.
On her part, Country Director for Amref Tanzania, Dr Florence Temu said the Uzazi ni Maisha was officially launched in July 2022 by Zanzibar First Lady Mama Mariam Mwinyi.