While Tanzania has made great strides in reducing preventable deaths of children under the age of five, progress in reducing maternal and newborn mortality has been much slower. Maternal mortality rates remain high at 556 deaths per 100,000 live births due to challenges such as inadequate quality of services, lack of access to emergency obstetric care, and limited ability of women and girls to independently access health services.
Newborn deaths continue to make up a significant proportion of deaths in children under five. This highlights the importance of responding to the major causes of newborn deaths and complications, such as infection and birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen), and the need for skilled care to manage labour and delivery to ensure healthy outcomes for both mothers and newborns.
CARE is focusing our health work in Tanzania in the region of Tabora, a remote and isolated part of the country where maternal, newborn and child mortality is high. Almost half of the population is living on less than two dollars a day, which has a direct bearing on health outcomes, especially for women and girls.
What CARE is Doing:
CARE is implementing the Tabora Maternal Newborn Health Initiative (TAMANI) project with the aim to improve both the quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn health services available, and women and girls' access to health care. Funded by the Government of Canada, the project aims to improve both the supply and demand of reproductive, maternal and newborn health care, building on CARE’s existing women’s economic empowerment program in the region.
TAMANI is being implemented through a partnership between CARE and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC), the Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Tanzania (AGOTA), the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH), and McGill University’s Institute for Health & Social Policy. TAMANI is also working closely with regional and district level health planners to effectively plan for, and deliver respectful and skilled reproductive health care, improve the skills of health care workers to effectively manage labour and delivery, and support communities to address local barriers that impede access to health care, especially for women and girls.
TAMANI will help achieve lasting change in the lives of beneficiaries through:
- Training and mentoring of health care workers to provide emergency obstetric care, respectful maternity care, contraception and youth-friendly health services
- Health facility rehabilitation projects, and equipping health facilities to effectively deliver emergency obstetric care
- Training and mentoring of district and regional health planners in budgeting, data collection and use, and the financial management of maternal and newborn health services
- Distribution of ambulances to support women and girls' access to emergency care
- Facilitating communities and health facility staff to develop joint action plans to improve health service delivery and accountability
- Training and support to scale up community health worker program to deliver community-based health care and monitoring
Community-based dialogues to reflect on sexual and reproductive health and rights, reflecting on the gender dynamics that impact health outcomes for women and girls (such as unequal decision-making power to access contraception, gender-based violence, etc.)
- The project will directly support 56 health planners, 270 health care workers and 1000 community health workers, indirectly supporting 298,995 women and girls of reproductive age, 660,510 men and boys, and 68,695 newborns.