The campaign, organized by Amref Health Africa, seeks to raise awareness on the plight of African mothers and mobilize citizens worldwide to ensure that mothers get the basic medical care they need during pregnancy and childbirth.
Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, who represented the Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, accompanied by Zanzibar's Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Hamad Rashid Mohamed, graced the event which took place at the Green ground, Oysterbay in Dar es Salaam.
The campaign's 2019 theme is 'Support Deployment of More Midwives for Safe Delivery'.
Amref Health Africa Tanzania Country Director, Florence Temu, said this year the SU4AM campaign is aimed at continuing to inform and create awareness to the community about the importance of skilled midwives to facilitate safe delivery during pregnancy and after childbirth.
"The big goal of the campaign is to raise funds for facilitating the presence of midwives at health facilities, the goal of the campaign is to collect 1bn/- during the three-year period (2019-2021) to deploy and facilitate the presence of more midwives for safe delivery at health facilities," he said.
"These midwives are key role in providing quality health care services during pregnancy and after birth, therefore we call upon all multi stakeholders, namely public, private sectors and development partners, to continue contributing to meet this goal in order to save the lives of mothers and children in the areas of need in Tanzania."
Charles Itembe, ABL Managing Director, underpinned the bank’s commitment to supporting the health sector, particularly citing maternal health as one of the core pillars of ABL’s corporate social responsibility policy.
“African women are at the centre of the social and economic development chain, without basic medical care, women in developing countries such as Tanzania, will experience high maternal mortality rate that would lead to retardation of social and economic development," he noted.
Itembe added that ABL recognizes the need to support such other stakeholders like Amref, with a view to contributing towards positive transformation of life in such areas as health, education and economic well-being.
ABL’s sponsorship included cash and kind donations to deploy a number of students in health centres, he noted.
Surveys conducted indicate that, over 200,000 African mothers die every year due to lack of simple medical care. Moreover, 40% of African women do not receive pre-natal care, with more
than half of them having deliveries done at home. Conversely, 1.5 million African children are left motherless each year due to the high maternal mortality rate.
The Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS-2015-16) on the other hand, recorded 556 deaths per 100,000 live births-which means that nearly 30 Tanzania's mothers die daily from pregnancy-related complications.
"However, we believe from the multi efforts done by the current regime, to increase health facilities, health equipment and health commodities, emergency delivery services, including provision of education on emergency obstetric care including theatres in health facilities, community education, involvement of development partners will eventually significantly lead to decline of deaths," the ABL boss said.
By supporting this noble program of Amref, Itembe said, ABL seeks to contribute to a considerable extent in reducing maternal mortality rate in Tanzania and to buttress Amref’s rallying call to support deployment of more midwives for safe delivery.