Rukwa cuts maternal mortality rate by 17.44pc

RUKWA: RUKWA Region has cut down maternal mortality rate by 17.44 per cent between 2022 and 2023, it has been revealed.

Equally the perinatal deaths have been reduced by 71 per cent between 2022 and 2023.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), perinatal mortality is the death of a baby between 28 weeks of gestation onwards and before the first 7 days of life.

This was revealed over the weekend, when nurses in Rukwa Region commemorated the International Nurses Day at regional level at Regional Referral Hospital in Sumbawanga Municipality.

The event was graced by Rukwa Regional Commissioner (RC) Mr Makongoro Nyerere. One of the nurses, Ms Rose Kasaila told the RC that the declining rate of maternal and perinatal mortality shows tremendous achievements recorded by the region in the health sector.

“The report shows that maternal mortality rate in Rukwa has gone down from 86 deaths per 100,000 live births (2022) to 71 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2023… this is a very huge step and 17.44 per cent drop is a big relief,” she said. She went ahead to say that perinatal deaths in Rukwa dropped from 8 deaths per 1,000 lives (2022) down to 6 deaths per 1,000 lives in 2023,” she added.

The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has directed that by 2030, the number of maternal mortality rate in respective countries should not exceed 70 deaths per 100,000 lives, therefore, the drop of maternal deaths in Rukwa is a good indication of the possibility to reach the set goals.

She attributed the success to increase in government’s initiatives to bring health services closer to the people.

“Rukwa has 263 health facilities including seven hospitals, 30 health centres, 222 dispensaries and four maternity homes. Some 223 health facilities provide labour and delivery services and postnatal care services,” she said.

However, she said despite the improved working condition, uniforms and shortage of nurses have been frustrating them.

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Mr Nyerere said despite the achievement more has to be done to achieve the goals. He praised the nurses for the good work to complement the government’s efforts in improving the health care services in Rukwa Region.

Equally, Mr Nyerere urged health sector regulators and supervisors in the region to ensure that the few unethical nurses, tarnishing the good image of the profession are not spared.

The nurses, through their leader, Ms Imelda Mshyota also promised to take serious action against nurses who go against the professional ethics and code of conduct.

She further said that nurses are in a better position to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

The theme for International Nurses Day 2023 is – “Our nurses, our future.” International Nurse Day is observed around the world annually on May 12, to honour the contribution of nurses to the society and acknowledge the role they play in the overall healthcare system.

Nurses play a crucial role in providing medical care and their role during Covid-19 has inspired humankind. The day also marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Nightingale also known as “The Lady With the Lamp,” was a British nurse, social reformer and statistician best known as the founder of modern nursing. She was the founder of St. Thomas Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1860.

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