How ‘Mkanda Salama’ tech reduces maternal death

DAR R ES SALAAM: THE Mkanda Salama technology has restored back hope for women experiencing excessive bleeding after giving birth by compressing a stomach with special belt.

The technology was designed by Mr James Kalema, the Director of Afya Lead company who received 40m/- financing from the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) to conduct research aimed at reducing maternal death.

Speaking recently to the COSTECH team and journalists who visited the office to evaluate how the government’s money provided to them (Afya Lead Company) has been spent, Mr Kalema said the value of money can be seen since 80 per cent of test was positive.

“We looked at the community and one of the existing challenges is excessive bleeding immediately after delivery which causes the death of many women. So we did research and see how we can solve the problem,” said Kalema adding the goal is to reduce maternal deaths.

He said that the Mkanda Salama is used to compress the stomach to prevent bleeding whereas in many rural areas they used the local method of tying the women abdomen tightly to prevent bleeding until she is taken to the hospital.

“For those who don’t know, they might think it’s a belt but if you look carefully you’ll see that there is a device on the belt that is used to compress the stomach, especially those with a navel and bleeding. So it is not a cure but the first aid to prevent excessive bleeding until the patient is brought to the hospital for proper medication,” said Kalema.

He said that the innovation brought positive results for 80 perbcent after a study that was conducted on 120 women in Kibaoni, Mlimba and St Francis hospitals in Morogoro Region.

He said he was funded by Costech after participating in the National Competition for Science, Technology and Innovation (Makisatu), and being among the top three innovators.

“The funds have enabled us to increase the quality of our equipment, to connect us with various stakeholders but also to register the company and be given commercial support on how we can do it,” he said.

Mr Kalema said the regions leading to the maternal deaths are Shinyanga, Mara, Lindi and Mtwara.

He said Covid-19 pushed them to conduct the research in 2020 where there was a significant increase in deaths including maternal death and also maternal health services were largely weak.

However, he said Mkanda Salama will be sold at 175,000/- and they got a market in Uganda and Rwanda.

A Gynecologist Dr Elias Kwiyamba said more than 30 per cent of maternal death is caused by excessive bleeding after the mother gives birth.

Dr Kwiyamba said that after delivery, the bleeding should not exceed half a litre and if it comes out more than that, it could endanger her life.

“When a woman delivers she is supposed to bleed the amount of blood not exceeding half a litre and if it exceeds it could endanger her life.

“So if she is using Mkanda Salama after delivery she will prevent the amount of blood from coming out and give the medical experts the opportunity to identify where the blood is coming from and the reasons,” said Dr Kwiyamba.

A Mkanda Salama slows down excessive bleeding and provides proper treatment to the bleeding area.

A St Francis Hospital Nurse, Enos Sama said that safe Mkanda Salama technology has helped women and saved their lives.

“The trend right now is that the number of womens who lose a lot of blood after delivery has decreased and even in terms of maternal deaths it has decreased as well, not as it was before having this technology,” said Sama.

 

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