We are pleased to report encouraging preliminary results from our collaborative and innovative program introducing distribution of misoprostol tablets to women when they come for prenatal care in Tanzania. The project is designed to equip expectant mothers with the tablets to safeguard against bleeding in case they cannot return when it comes time to deliver.
The project's focus on community education through conversations with trained health providers and radio and poster messages has contributed to proper use of the tablets by all of the expectant mothers who took them at home for prevention of bleeding after childbirth. This strategy for reaching mothers who might not otherwise be protected from the life-threatening bleeding is proving effective; the percentage of women interviewed who were protected against this condition increased to 90% with the introduction of misoprostol tablets.
Not only is the project showing that misoprostol is a safe and feasible means to increase protection against bleeding, the mothers who have taken the tablets are pleased with the experience. Almost all of the mothers who have taken the preventative tablets said they would take misoprostol in a subsequent pregnancy and would recommend the tablets to a pregnant friend. Many would also purchase the tablets themselves to ensure they were prepared for delivery, particularly in case they could not make it to a health facility to deliver.
We look forward to updating supportive contributors and policymakers in Tanzania when the final results of this project become available later this year so we can continue to make these life-saving tablets available to Tanzanian mothers.
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Technical Advisor, Communications and Development