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Vice President of Tanzania Hon.Samia Hassan Suluhu grace the Commemorations of International Day of Midwives

5 May 2017
Hon. Samia Suluhu, The Vice president of Tanzania presenting a statement during the commemoration of International Day of Midwives, in Dodoma, Tanzania.

The Vice President has directed council building of health workers:

The Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Hon Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed all councils in the country should ensure constitute housing for health workers, especially in rural areas and the top priority must be to midwives who often are the ones who give emergency care to pregnant women and children.

Vice President Hon Samia Hassan Suluhu has issued the directive in Dodoma in the climax of commemoration of the International Day of Midwives that participated with more than 1500 of attendants from different regions in the country.

The Vice President said that if the council will build the  houses near stations offered health care will help reduce the problems of mothers and children who want to get emergency services compared to the current situation where some health workers especially midwives are staying away from their places of work thus rendering the emergency services to be inadequate.

Vice President has urged heads of provinces and districts to manage the building fully as they dealt with the problems of the desks in their areas in order to ensure the nation reaches its goal of reducing the number of maternal deaths in the country.

About the challenges facing the health sector in the country, the Vice President has assured attendants and other employees of the health sector in the country that the government continues to work on these challenges, including the improvement of interest to staff cadre that included to double medical devices, drugs and reagents to ensure citizens across the country have access to quality health care.

She said that until now the availability of drugs to health facilities in the country are reached 83 percent by the end of March 2017. The Vice President also encouraged the attendants to work hard and to uphold the values ​​and let them give bad language habits of pregnant women and midwives who are found to carry out actions that are taken stringent measures to stop such behavior.

For her part, Minister of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Ummy Mwalimu has assured the Vice President that his Ministry will continue to effectively manage the effective delivery of public health as well as managing ethics for ministers of health across the country. She said a strong belief that after the government adding to the Ministry of Health budget from billion more than 700 in the financial year of 2016/2017 up to one trillion for the fiscal year 2017/2018 clearly shows the commitment of the government to ensure citizens have access to health care for the top level in the state compared to previous years.

“In Tanzania, more than 8,500 women die every year due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, nearly 40,000 babise die during the first 28 Days of life, almost 100,000 children die before reaching their fifth birthday and nearly 50,000 babies are stillborn, almost half of them dying during delivery. Most of these lives could as well saved if we trained midwives were available before, during and after child birth”. According to Dr. Hashina Begum a.i Representative, UNFPA Tanzania

UNFPA focuses on four key areas; providing a comperency based curriculum for all midwives, developing strong regulatory mechanism to ensure quality services, establishing and strengthening midwifry associations and advocating for increased investments in midwifery services.

UNFPA will continue to support midwfrery and sexual reproductive health and reproductive rights for all women. Today, UNFPA funds more than 250 midwifrey schools with books, training equipmen and trained faculty.  In Tanzania, UNFPA and the UN system supports the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; midwifery training institutions, professional associations such as Tanzania Midwives Association (TAMA) and other partners to ensure the availability of an adequate number of qualified ad competent midwives with appropriate midwifery skills who are able to support maternal new born and child health (MNCH) care in Tanzania. This support has included renovations of training facilities, funding training programs, procurement of midwifery books and equipment. Some of the achievements which include: Increased facility delivery and access to surgery services (CEmONC) through renovating and equipping 14 high burden health centers in rural areas in Tanzania mainland and some in Zanzibar; Trained over 80 health care workers including midwives to provide caesarian section, anesthesia and other emergency services. UNFPA has also enhanced skills of over 4000 health care workers mainly midwives on various components of life saving skills for women and newborn babies through continues mentorship, short term trainings and use of innovation (Mobile learning system). Procurement of family planning and RH commodities and strengthening the referral system and coordination at the district lever, this year the UN system procured 67 ambulances to help the referral system and 8 coordination vehicles. Both ambulances and coordination vehicles were handed over to the Ministry of Health and distributed to various districts mostly in Lake and Western zone regions.

Dr. Hashina urged that; “preventing maternal and newborn deaths ad disabilities and empowering women to make informed, healthy choices and exercise their rights is key to achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030. To make this happen, we need to expand midwifery programs, maintaining the highest global standards, and promote an enabling environment for midwives to effectively save the needs of women and their families”.

Statements approach the celebration of this year's Day of Midwives are Midwives, mothers and families are partners for life.

“I urge all governments and development patners to join UNFPA in supporting midwives so more women survive and they, their families and communities thrive” according to Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director, UNFPA.