Germany uplifts maternal, child care by 32.7bn/- grant

10Sep 2019
Henry Mwangonde
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Germany uplifts maternal, child care by 32.7bn/- grant

THE German government through its development bank KFW yesterday issued a grant amounting to 13 million euro equivalent to 32.74bn/ for social security support in maternal and neonatal health and HIV/ AIDS prevention.

Finance and Planning ministry permanent secretary in Doto James (2nd-L), KFW Development Bank Tanzania country director Dr Annika Calov (L) and National Insurance Health Fund director general Bernard Konga display documents in Dar es Salaam (3rd-L) yesterday shortly after signing an agreement for a 13 million euro (equivalent to 32.74bn/-) grant for social security support in maternal neonatal health and HIV/ AIDS prevention in Tanzania. The aim is to safeguard the health of poor mothers and their newborns through a programme dubbed Tumaini La Mama (literally, Mother’s Hope). Photo courtesy of Finance ministry

The funds are expected to help safeguard the health of poor mothers and their new born through a program dubbed Tumaini la Mama.

Speaking at the signing ceremony to receive the grant, the Treasury Permanent Secretary Dotto James said the money was for funding the third phase of the project.

The project was developed to increase access to quality health services by offering health insurance to poor pregnant women for up to six months after delivery, through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the Community Health Fund (CHF).

"The project is highly important as it enhances efforts of the government to reduce maternal and infant mortality but also creating the habit of using health insurance services among our people," he said.

The project was in line with the National Five Year Development Plan which targets to reduce under-five mortality per 1000 live births to 45, maternal mortality per 100,000 live births to 250, life expectancy reach 66 and HIV prevalence decrease to three percent.

The grant increases Germany’s support to the project to euro 46 million, equivalent to 115.8bn/-.

So far about one million women and newborns in five regions have benefited from quality health services throughout pregnancy, delivery and the first 100 days of the new born child in regions of Tanga, Mbeya, Songwe, Lindi and Mtwara.  

In her remarks the KFWCountry Director Annika Calov said the programme is part of long term cooperation between Tanzania and Germany aiming at improving universal health coverage.

“Today is a good day for maternal health in Tanzania. These additional 13 million euro will help safeguard the health of poor mothers and their new born through the Tumaini la Mama programme,” she told the gathering.

Tanzania suffers high adverse sexual and reproductive health indicators including high levels of maternal mortality.  There is also the issue of adolescent births, mother to child transmission of HIV, intimate partner violence, where the persistence of child and teenage marriages, girls forced to drop out of school due to pregnancy, and low contraceptive prevalence linger.

She said that sexual reproductive health programmes have limited orientation to key segments of the population and there is little evidence of integration of mother and child health with HIV/Aids interventions.

Although Tanzania has met its country target for reducing the under-five mortality rate, newborn deaths are responsible for 40-percent of all under-five deaths, she added.

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