Tanzania lawmakers and development partners gathering for the 2nd reproductive, maternal, newborn, childbirth, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) scientific conference committed to support actions for stronger health systems to advance access to quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health, and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N).
Convened by the Ministry of Health, Jakaya Mrisho Foundation and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners, the conference aligns with global recommendations of focusing on expanding access to effective and high-quality care, with a particular emphasis on strengthening primary health care.
The 4th President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Excellence Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, commended the government for the successful strive in reducing the deaths of pregnant mothers from over 556 thousand deaths in 2016 to 104 deaths in 2022.
“It is rather sad to see a mother who brings life to the world lose her life. I want to commend and congratulate the Government and the Ministry of Health for the efforts it has made. It is critical to consolidate the gains of the successes chalked and ensure maternal deaths are a thing of the past”, Dr Jakaya Kikwete said.
Despite these major strides, there are still some bottlenecks to address to achieve zero maternal deaths. However, stakeholders gathered concerted that major investment must be made into the most impactful interventions for averting maternal deaths including care during childbirth (e.g., blood transfusion and parenteral administration of antibiotics) and antenatal care (e.g., management of hypertension during pregnancy).
“To achieve a functioning health system, we need every hand on deck. From health workers to support from partners and the strategies and guidance instituted by the government. The Government is ever committed to strengthening health systems to advance access to quality Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health, and Nutrition”, stated Hon. Ummy Mwalimu, The Minister of Health in Tanzania. This statement was further emphasis by the Minster of Health, Zanzibar, Honorable Nassor Ahmed Mazru.
Meanwhile, under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), countries have united behind the target to accelerate the decline of maternal mortality by 2030. SDG 3 includes an ambitious target: “reducing the global MMR to less than 70 per 100 000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average. The Universal Health Coverage bill passed by the parliament of Tanzania is a huge step to achieve this.
Speaking on behalf of the Country Representative of WHO, Dr Sisay Tegegne, the Programme Management Officer, noted that the drastic decline in maternal mortality and the passing of the Universal Health Coverage bill by the parliament in Tanzania demonstrates the sustained investments and unwavering commitment of the Government to building a robust health system for its citizen.
Thereby, “I want to reaffirm the commitment of the World Health Organization to continue supporting the government’s priorities, aligning with national aspirations, strengthening health systems, and enhancing the overall health, well-being, and quality of life for the women, children, and adolescents in the United Republic of Tanzania”.
The conference was attended by over 500 delegates from across the country. Delegates consisted of the diplomatic core, health care workers from all levels, health managers, academicians, researcher policy makers, elected officials non-state actors and high-ranking government officials.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization – United Republic of Tanzania.