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Project brings down maternal deaths in hospitals

Project brings down maternal deaths in hospitals

SOME hospitals have recorded decrease in the number of maternal deaths following the ‘Safe Birth Bundle of Care (SBBC) project implemented by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The three-year project worth 11bn/- which kicked-off in October 2020 is implemented in collaboration with the government in the regions of Manyara, Tabora, Shinyanga, Geita and Mwanza under sponsorship of the Global Financing Facility.

Speaking during a meeting for SBBC evaluation mid this week, Manyara Regional Reproductive and Child Health Coordinator (RRCHCo), Ms Emma Ngatuluwa, affirmed that:

"We have only 50 stillbirth cases from July to September, compared to 78 cases from April to June this year. The success is due to availability of modern medical equipment for expectant mothers and newborn offered by the sponsor, including 'Moyo' device for newborn heartbeats monitoring."

'Moyo' is fixed on the mothers' womb while in labour ward, and if it makes noise, then there is something wrong with the fetus' heartbeats.

'Neobeat' is another device made available to SBBC beneficiary hospitals for monitoring new baby heartbeats immediately after delivery.

"It detects even faint heartbeats. We think many newborns with low heartbeats have died in the past due to lack of this device."

Apart from medical devices, the project also renovates Neonatal Care Unit (NCU), with about 17 units being available in Manyara, according to Ngatuluwa.

Maternal death decrease has also been recorded in Tabora Region, with RRCHCo, Ms Malcelina Mpandalo, affirming that the death rate is 174, which was recorded from January to this month, compared to 1,022 of last year.

"The decrease is obviously seen as we cannot record the same number of 2020 or above because the year 2021 is almost over," she said.

SBBC Manager, Dr Paschal Mdoe commented that the project involved only the regions with a high rate of maternal deaths.

He said that SBBC was on good progress since service providers are well trained to offer the advanced care for mothers and newborn.

Gracing the event, Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Dorothy Gwajima, expressed her gratitude to implementers of the project.

She assured that the government will develop the efforts so as to attain 2030 target of reducing maternal deaths to less than 70 per 100,000 live births, from 566 per 100,000 live births as well as reducing newborn deaths to at least 12 per 1,000 live births from 25 per 1,000 live births, according to 2015/16 report.

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Author: ABELA MSIKULA in Mwanza

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