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Health Minister of Tanzania attends 1st Stakeholder meeting of Safer Births Scale Up


The first stakeholder meeting for the Safer Births Bundle of Care was held in Mwanza to report on the launch of the program and progress to date.  The scale-up includes 30 hospitals in 5 regions of the country covering 500,000 births.  

The meeting kicked off with a workshop hosted by the primary research team. The goal for the project is to reduce:

  • Maternal deaths by 10%
  • Fresh stillbirths by 25%
  • Neonatal deaths by 50%

The Tanzanian Minister of Health, Dorothy Gwajima, reaffirmed government support for the program and encouraged comparison studies in regions where Safer Births has not been implemented.

UNICEF Chief of Health Ulrika Baker noted the “strong national ownership from the government of the program. This program can serve as a catalyst for other health systems.”

All regional medical officers from the five regions reports results and lessons learned to date. The initial results show an increase in monitoring labor using a partograph in all 5 regions. An increase in data accuracy has also been registered. There has also been an increase in low dose high frequency simulation-based on the job training.  Most notably, a decrease in numbers of maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage has been shown in two regions and a decrease in numbers of neonatal deaths. These results are preliminary trends and large-scale collection of data and research is currently underway.

“This is important for the health sector in Tanzania, but also for Tanzania’s achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.” – Elisabeth Jacobsen, Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania

To provide evidence of the impact of the Safer Births scale up, six new PhD projects spearheaded by Tanzanian researchers, with the following topics:

  1. Importance of existing health structures and facility readiness
  2. Uptake and impact of low dose high frequency simulation based in-situ training
  3. Competence gain with NeoNatalie Live combined with continuous Quality Improvement and Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle.
  4. Institutionalization of Quality Improvement and low does high frequency training
  5. Effects of Safer Births Bundle of Care on strengthening health systems
  6. Healthcare workers perception of simulation and low dose high frequency training and outcome (PPH)

The motto of the program, “maternal and newborn deaths are unacceptable. Let’s work together to reduce them.” It was performed as a dance and sung in Swahili throughout the event days. 

Vlfo vya Watoto wachanga, vifo vitokanavyo na uzazi, havikubalikl, tuungane kwa Pamoja kuvitokomeza 

The work being done to build the Safer Births program as a model for Tanzania t can be used to build the case for other countries around the world. Stay tuned for updates from the 2nd Safer Births scale up meeting coming up in March.