Relief for pregnant women as emergency service launched

IT was all smiles for expectant mothers, patients and medical staff at Mount Meru Hospital, following the launch of an emergency service for pregnant women.

The emergency service, dubbed M-Mama is set to address maternal and child care in a region which is still grappling with alarming maternal alarming rates.

Speaking here at the weekend, the regional education officer Abel Tupwa, said the initiative will restore smiles on the faces of expectant mothers in the region.

“We are very grateful to Vodacom Tanzania Foundation for this service, which I hope will lend our health workers more impetus in rescuing lives,” said Mr Tupwa, who was representing the Arusha Regional Commissioner John Mongella at the launch.

According to Mr Tupwa, 69,199 women gave birth in 2022, where around 5078 experienced problems while delivering.

“There were 2062 referrals and 61 maternal related deaths at that particular time, this wouldn’t have been the case if we had the M-Mama service at our disposal,” he said.

Such harsh reality goes to expose the cracks in the maternal care in the region, if the failure of transporting expectant mothers was anything to go by, according to Mr Tupwa.

Speaking earlier on Vodacom’s executive head in the Northern Zone, George Venanty said the mobile operator was committed to providing free emergency rides to the hospital for pregnant women, in order to help reduce maternal mortality in the region.

“We wish to reiterate our zeal and determination of saving our mothers and infants,” he said.

The programme which kicked off in 2022 is expected to transport more than 300,000 women, empower more than 1,400 community transport drivers and could save more than 9,000 lives.

It has been developed by Vodacom Tanzania Foundation, Vodafone Foundation and the government.

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