The Safer Births consortium attended a meeting in Mwanza, Tanzania marking the formal conclusion of the first phase of the lifesaving program: the Safer Births Bundle of Care. In the same week, a formal agreement was signed with government officials in attendance, to scale up the program significantly to an additional 110 hospitals.
The program, which was first implemented in 30 hospitals in Tanzania, includes training and clinical innovations as well as continuous quality improvement initiatives and supportive mentorship to ensure sustainability over time. Preliminary results from the two-year implementation show remarkable reductions of more than 50% in both early newborn and maternal mortality.
It is because of these remarkable results, and the final results expected to be published in early 2024, that the program received additional funding of 8.5 million USD from the World Bank Global Financing Facility to further scale up the program. In partnership with the government of Tanzania and founding implementation partner, Haydom Lutheran Hospital, the second phase will see the program rolled out to additional health facilities across the same 5 regions in Tanzania.
The formal agreement for the implementation of the second phase was signed at a dinner attended by more than 100 partners and government officials including the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health Dr John Jingu, the Chief Medical Officer Prof. Tumaini Nagu and Former President Kikwete who was a guest of honour and expressed his support for the program.
“Haydom Lutheran Hospital has become a beacon of innovations. It has become a centre of excellence and the training they are providing to the country is exemplary. Safer Births Bundle of Care came out of Haydom. As a government, we are adopting it, and it is saving lives.”Dr John Jingu, The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health
Karoline Linde, CEO of Laerdal Global Health, a key Safer Births consortium partner, says: “I know I speak for the whole Safer Births team when I say that we feel both privileged and proud to be a part of the collaborative efforts that have made the first phase of the program a success. This program has proved to be a low cost, high impact implementation and the clear endorsement from the Tanzanian government and the Global Financing Facility is hugely important for the future impact Safer Births Bundle of Care can have here in Tanzania, as well as globally. This project in Tanzania provides a strong investment case for other countries who aren’t on track to meet the SDG 3 targets, to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality.”
Implementation of the second phase will begin in February 2024, with a continued collaborative approach from key partners, including Haydom Lutheran Hospital, Laerdal Global Health and the Ministry of Health, Tanzania.