Speaking at the launch of the forum, RC Hapi described ‘NAWEZA’ as a platform geared to provide education that would make people change their behaviors and perspectives.
“The idea is to make people change their mindsets for outlooks that lead to positive results in health related issues,” the RC said, noting that the government’s aim is to reduce maternal mortality rates.
“This is only possible by addressing different challenges such as improving maternal service delivery, as well as increasing education to the general public on the problem.”
The RC said in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ‘Tulonge Afya-FHI 360, the government has worked hard to educate people on maternal health education as one way of reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate during and after delivery.
High infant mortality rates are caused by malaria and they have also gone down.
He commended media for their role in ensuring key messages from different stakeholders on health related issues reach the general public.
Hapi said the NAWEZA forum is a good avenue for the government to accomplish its strategic mission to reduce new HIV infection cases, maternal and infant mortality, malaria and TB.
The RC further said that the government was determined to improve the quality of medical care for mothers and newborns, as well as reducing the number of mortality cases, which currently stand at 556 deaths per 100,000 live births in the country.
“As government we would like to reduce the number to 292 deaths per 100,000 live births,” he said, pointing out that the main challenge is that the number of expectant mothers who go to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) clinics is only 25 percent and only 63 percent of them deliver in health facilities.
“So, the remaining mothers are not recorded and this is where the NAWEZA project needs to play an active role,” the RC underlined