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The United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency, UNFPA Tanzania with the financial support from the government of Finland has donated medical equipment and renovated Amana Hospital’s maternity ward, including its isolation room, all at the cost of 420m/- for major objective of improving maternal and reproductive health at the institution.

Speaking recently, Dar es Salaam Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) Abbasi Rugwa said the government will ensure the equipment are used for the intended purpose, adding that all its patients will be treated fairly without any bias.

He detailed that out of the amount, some 279m/- was for the purchase of the medical equipment, while 116m/- was spent in renovating the maternity ward.

In a separate development, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has handed over some advocacy materials including 3,500 jerseys and 3,500 reflectors to Dar es Salaam motorcyclists (boda boda), to facilitate the dissemination of messages on the importance of Covid-19 vaccination to the public, as well as reduction of the maternal death caused by the virus.

Elaborating, the UNFPA Representative to Tanzania, Mark Bryan Schreiner, noted that the materials will go towards saving the lives of pregnant mothers.

He added: “According to the 2015-2016 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey, the maternal mortality ratio in the country is estimated at 556 deaths per 100,000 live births and it is further estimated that every year, around 11,000 women in Tanzania die due to complications in pregnancies and childbirth.

Similarly, an estimated 40,000 newborn deaths occur annually; therefore, the items provided will help towards reducing the maternal death in the country.”

On her part, the UNFPA Programme Specialist in Health Systems, Felister Bwana said that pregnant women in rural and urban areas should visit their nearest health centres, whenever they feel labor pain before delivery.

In particular, she said Amana Hospital has all efficient equipment and skilled personnel including midwives for reproductive and maternal health.

UNFPA supports the Government of Tanzania to deliver on the commitment of the Nairobi Summit in 2019 to support access to sexual, reproductive, maternal, new-born and adolescent health. We aim to ensure that no one is left behind, including people with disabilities, refugees and the most vulnerable.

UNFPA’s Transformative Results includes achieving “Zero unmet need for family planning” and “Zero preventable maternal deaths”. This aim to fulfill family planning and maternal health needs will only be achieved through collaborative efforts. In the midst of Tanzania’s dynamic population growth, expanding sexual and reproductive health services for the country’s youthful population, while ensuring rights and choices for all, is of paramount importance.