This month, we launched our project to distribute misoprostol tablets during antenatal care. The goal of this project is to save mothers’ lives by preventing postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) at home births with misoprostol tablets for women who are unable to reach a facility to deliver. We will be providing misoprostol at approximately 2,500 births over a 12 month timeframe. The project is complimented by a large community awareness campaign on birth preparedness and PPH prevention with misoprostol, including both radio and direct communication via community outreach workers. With partners at the local Ifakara Research and Development Center,training of healthcare providers and program staff in the four project sites of Kigoma Urban, Kilombera, Ulanga and Rufiji began in November and will be completed in January when the project will formally launch. In Tanzania there is near universal attendance for at least one antenatal care visit (96%), yet the majority of births still take place at home. Antenatal care visits may prove to be a key contact point to reach vulnerable women with safe birthing messages and misoprostol for prevention. This innovative model is expected to reach a large number of women with the life-saving tablets and increase facility-births.
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