Innovative Maternal Health Program in Tanzania Expected to Impact At Least 50,000 Mothers and Children by 2016
Today, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a new investment in an innovative maternal health program in Tanzania that is projected to impact at least 50,000 mothers and their children over the next three years. Today’s investment brings the total commitment to $15.5 million since late 2006. The program is a partnership with Geneva-based H&B Agerup Foundation and operates in close consultation with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. It is implemented by the World Lung Foundation and is evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the CDC Foundation.
More than 100 local non-physician clinicians including assistant medical officers and nurse midwives in Tanzania’s most isolated areas have been trained to perform life-saving procedures including caesarean sections since the program began. The number of maternal deaths from bleeding and other complications in Tanzania have been reduced; in one district alone, maternal deaths declined by 32% in less than 2 years due to the project.
To date, more than one thousand babies have been delivered by c-section in villages where women previously had to travel several hours to receive care – often when it was too late. Women in Tanzania deliver an average of 5.5 children in their lifetime, meaning every mother’s life saved not only impacts her and her newborn but also the well-being of her other children.
Tanzania has the eighth highest number of maternal deaths in the world; a woman dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth almost every hour in Tanzania.