A CAMPAIGN, Jiongeze Tuwavushe Salama, launched last year to fight against maternal and child mortality in the country needs to be emphasised. We say this because it is important for both the health of mother and child.
The campaign mobilises various stakeholders to support national efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality and improve the quality of life.
Speaking in Shinyanga Region on Monday, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said with the campaign the government wanted to ensure women and newborns remained safe on health, nutrition, child and mother care at family level and availability of and access to health services. But availability of and access to health facilities, provision of health services and medicine is not enough. Better utilisation of those facilities and services is equally needed.
In light of this, we see the relevance of the campaign to the health of mother and child. What is still needed though is to ensure it reaches rural areas. With the improvement of health services from village to national level, there is also improvement in the general provision of health services in the country.
This is due to the fact that more health services have been set up in various parts of the country, roads have been improved to ease transport to and from health facilities and with the government’s emphasis on science subjects in schools and the introduction of health insurance cover for all, obviously there will be further improvement in the provision of and access to health services.
This is because people, who used to die due lack of the wherewithal to take care of themselves or their family members won’t have this problem anymore if the government starts implementing the health insurance scheme for all.
Thus, we see in the future adequate medical practitioners and specialists in various medical fields. But we may have all these and still have a high rate of maternal and child mortality.
What is needed is to increase public awareness so that every Tanzanian sees the importance of improving one’s quality of life by drinking clean and safe water and eating balanced healthy diets, going for regular medical checkups and following government health programmes launched in accordance with arising health needs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the high number of maternal deaths in some parts of the world reflects inequities in access to health services and highlights the gap between the rich and poor.
It says the major complications that account for nearly 75 per cent of all maternal deaths are severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth), infections (usually after childbirth), high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), complications from delivery and unsafe abortion.
We are sure that improvement in health infrastructure will not only translate into improved health services, but also in better utilisation of those health facilities and services.