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Experts propose UBT technology to curb maternal deaths

AMID government efforts to reduce maternal mortality rate by over 50 per cent by 2020, health experts have proposed the use of Uterine Balloon Tamponade (UBT) to realise the target.

UBT is an innovative lifesaving device used to manage uncontrolled bleeding in mothers after delivery and can save up to 80 per cent of cases if placed by trained and skilled birth attendants in health facilities.

According to Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey and Malaria Indicator Survey 2015/16, maternal mortality rate is 556 deaths per 100,000 live births. This is equivalent to 11,000 deaths annually and 30 deaths daily.

The government intends to reduce maternal deaths from 556 to 292 per 100,000 live births by 2020. Muhimbili National Hospital Gynaecologist Dr Vincent Tarimo, speaking at the national hospital’s second scientific conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, said the device is useful especially for mothers who bleed excessively after giving birth.

“There are mothers who are given medication to reduce bleeding after delivery but unsuccessfully and as a result they end up undergoing surgeries to remove the uterus,” he said.

He noted that prior to introduction of the technology even young women with uncontrolled bleeding had to undergo surgeries to remove the uterus as the only option to save lives.

“This means that they can no longer have babies, the situation that even threatens their marriages,” Dr Tarimo charged.

He described the UBT technology as ‘highly useful to mothers’ at the national hospital and other health facilities in Dar es Salaam like Mwananyamala, Amana and Temeke.

Dr Tarimo advised the government through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children to consider using the technology in other health facilities, countrywide.

Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya appreciated UBT technology as the simple intervention, which could be used to reduce the number of maternal deaths in the country.

He said the scientific conference was among the critical forums that help the government to understand various interventions, which can be adopted to improve mother and child health as well as formation of health policies.

Dr Ulisubisya asked health experts in the country to come up with interventions that will help to address various challenges facing the sector, including delivery of quality healthcare services.

Themed ‘Delivery of Quality Healthcare Services’ with focus on women health, the conference provided the platform for health experts to deliberate on various issues related to health sector and enhance efficiency.

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Author: LYDIA SHEKIGHENDA

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