Uzazi Uzima (Swahili for “Safe Deliveries”)
Many mothers and their children in the Simiyu region of northwestern Tanzania lack access to basic health care during pregnancy, delivery and the first few years of life. Focusing on five districts where mother and child deaths are high, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania, building on our previous work in maternal health in Tanzania, is continuing to ensure quality health care is available to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Project timeline: January 2017 to October 2020
Funder: Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada
Situation – Moms and babies lack access to health care
Many women, including adolescent mothers and their children, in the Simiyu region of northwestern Tanzania lack access to basic health care during pregnancy, delivery and the first few years of life–largely due to a lack of access to, and low use of, health services.
In Simiyu, Amref Health Africa has worked to bridge the gap between these rural communities and formal health systems, training over 800 health workers and nearly 4,000 volunteer Community Health Workers. The five districts that have been targeted have seen the proportion of health facilities with at least one skilled birth attendant increase from 15% to 81%, births attended by skilled staff increase from 58% to 69%, and health facility delivery increase from 58% to 69%.
We are continuing our work in Simiyu.
Action: Improving access to and use of health services for women, including adolescent mothers and their children
To improve access to health care, Amref Health Africa and our partners will:
- provide training, supervision and mentorship to health workers to improve their skills in sexual and reproductive care, maternal care and family planning
- support health facilities with infrastructure and equipment with an emphasis on IT, health management information systems
- improve referral systems so that rural communities are encouraged to access health services.
To improve the use of health services by women and their families, we will:
- train and equip Community Health Workers, Traditional Birth Attendants, traditional healers and community influencers
- reinforce education and awareness-raising efforts with a media campaign around reproductive, maternal and newborn health topics, including gender equality, harmful traditional practices, and the significance of men’s involvement in mother and child health
- encourage community feedback on quality of services for reproductive and maternal health, and nutrition.
Results to Date: Highlights (April 2018 to March 2019)
- 60,722 community members attended public meetings on the health of mothers and children to discuss topics such as giving birth in facilities, male involvement in pregnancy and childbirth, and gender-based violence
- 22,304 people took part in the project’s outreach services focused specifically on family planning services
- 802 men received family planning services as part of an integrated approach that included family planning with regular health services, such as immunization and HIV screening
- 145 youth clubs created to tackle sexual and reproductive health and rights, among other health-related topics
- 372 health workers trained on how to provide quality, respectful maternal and newborn care
- 60% of people seeking family planning did so for the first time, and 50% were youth, thanks to outreach and education by volunteer community health workers trained through the project
- 11% increase in the number of babies being delivered at health care facilities in the project area