Dr Ndugulile: Poor mothers need better health care to survive

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AN insufficient budget allocation for family planning remains a major hindrance to reducing maternal deaths in Tanzania, and to put things in perspective, five billion shillings is the highest we could ever afford to hold back these needless deaths, says Dr Faustine Ndugulile, Kigamboni MP and member of the Tanzania Parliamentary Association on Population and Development (TPAPD).

Dr Ndugulile made this landmark statement at the weekend, where he intimated that the estimated annual needs for family planning within the country now stands at Tanzania is 20bn/-, but the highest amount of funds (ever) allocated and released between 2010/11 and 2015/16 was a paltry five billion, or just 25 per cent of what is needed.

Statistics show that Tanzania runs one of the highest maternal death rates in the world, with the current ratio at 454 deaths per 100,000 live births. This implies that more than 20 women die every day due to complications during pregnancy and, or, at birth.

Conversely, some 40,000 children die during the first 28 days of life, while 100,000 die before reaching the age of five; still, about 50,000 are stillborn with half of them dying during delivery, the MP said. Dr Faustine Ndugulile, Kigamboni Member of Parliament and member of Tanzania Parliamentary Association on Population and Development (TPAPD).

Despite insufficient budget allocations, the National Family Planning Costed Implementation Programme (NFPCIP) aims to reduce maternal deaths through Family Planning (FP) by reaching an ambitious Goal of 60 per cent Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) by 2015.

Dr Ndugulile added that insufficient budget has been denying many women in the reproductive age contraceptives for successful family planning.

“The Local government authorities are overwhelmed by other priorities and not paying attention to family planning and its contribution to development agenda,” said Dr Ndugulile.

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