Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda.
Opened at the climax of the national White Ribbon Day celebrations at the turn of the week, the state-of-the art maternal care theatre at Mtowisa Health Centre in Sumbawanga was inaugurated by the Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr Seif Rashid on behalf of Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda.
Valued at USD317,500, the theatre has been constructed under the Wazazi na Mwana programme jointly implemented by Plan International, Africare and Jhpiego in both Rukwa and Mwanza regions.
It is run through an integrated approach involving community and facility-based Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) the programme is with the auspicious financial support from the government of Canada and Plan International.
Thanks to the programme, the government of Tanzania is able to implement multiple strategies to address particularly the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 which aim at reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality among underserved populations in Tanzania.
The refurbishing and equipping of the health center will improve the quality of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) services and is expected to reduce the maternal and newborn mortality especially in village settings.
The theatre will also serve to supplement shortage of equipment and supplies at Mtowisa Health Centre providing patient’s stretchers, heavy duty suction machine and cesarean section sets, theater gowns and surgeon boots, baby weighing scales and resuscitator masks for adults and children.
As part of support to the facility, staff from the Mtowisa centre will also be trained on Comprehensive Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (CEmONC) to familiarize them with best performance practices for cesarean operations among others.
The Wazazi na Mwana programme also provides similar support to three other health centres in Tanzania: Wampembe Health Centre in Nkasi District, Rukwa Region and Mwangika Health Centre in Sengerema district and Sangabuye Health Centre in Ilemela District, both in Mwanza Region.
Through the programme four ambulances valued at USD 200,000 have also been provided to support the centres.
As these regions are geographically very difficult to access, the ambulances play significant roles in saving people’s lives especially for mothers and children. In this endeavour, for sustainability, the government has committed to pay the driver and running costs of the vehicles.