Speaking during the launch of the facilities yesterday at the hospital, Acting MNH Director General Dr. Hedwiga Swai said the hospital intends to improve care and reduce mortality amongst the two groups, as earlier there were no dedicated facilities for them, thus they were being mixed with adult patients.
She said the project has been implemented by MNH and Tumaini La Maisha (TLM) Foundation with funds from the Queen of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The two sections , the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are built to international standards with modern equipment and experts, she stated.
She expressed gratitude to the Queen of Sharjah and TLM for their generous support and enthusiasm in improving children’s health care in the country.
“MNH is also implementing its neo-natal and pediatric guideline in a move aimed to further cut down the children mortality rate,” she told the gathering.
Implementation of various programmes to improve health care for infants and children has seem an improved situation as the mortality rate among the group has gone down to 30 cases from 70 cases a few years ago, of deaths that were happening within 24 hours.
Cases of premature delivery and deaths at the hospital have also decreased to 16 percent in the year 2018/19 from 19.2 percent in the year 2017/18.
“Statistics indicate that 13 per cent of newborn babies were born underweight, pushing up the rate of newborn deaths…So with the continued investments, healthcare of the group will be improved and we will save more lives,” she said.
Dr Swai further noted that the need to invest adequately in newborn babies’ health service delivery should not only include standardised care but quality care to sustain the lives of newborn babies.
“We are calling on the government to increase investments which include improved or special care in regional and referral hospitals, increasing specialists in the hospitals in tandem with our newly launched ICUs,” the Acting Director emphasized.
For his part, Tumaini La Maisha board chairman Gerald Mongella hailed the MNH management for the close supervision leading to the completion of the two essential units.
The construction of the ICUs means that many more children will gain access to quality lifesaving treatment services thus providing smiles on peoples and families, he stated.
“We also express our gratitude to the Queen of Sharjah and her family for their generous support. This shows how she is keen to seeing that the lives of children are saved and live a happy life,” he declared.
Tumaini La Maisha is a local NGO dedicated to providing free and curative care for all children with cancer in Tanzania.
Prof Charles Majinge, chairman of the MNH board said that with the construction of the two wards, newborns and children with various health challenges will be able to undergo major surgeries following installation of modern equipment to support such operations.
“Newborn children die due to lack of high-tech support services…But the challenges will be addressed with these new facilities,” he added.