Every year, 129,000 women rely on the public health system in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for maternal health services. Extreme congestion and severe resource shortages puts the lives of these women and their babies at serious risk. This project will help train health workers in 22 public health facilities to be able to provide high-quality, safe care for all expectant mothers, annually preventing thousands of maternal and newborn deaths and hundreds of birth injuries like obstetric fistula.
Tanzania is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth. Annually, thousands of women, especially those with high-risk pregnancies, become victims of a system that lacks 24-hour emergency care, sufficiently skilled staff, equipment, operating rooms and blood banks. Women who can't afford alternatives to public services don't have access to the quality care they need. Meanwhile, health workers lacking critical training and resources are often blamed for poor patient outcomes.
We see health workers as the solution. Our Maternal Health Capacity Building (MHCB) program was created by and for frontline health workers. Instead of blaming health workers when mothers and newborns don't survive, MHCB engages them to identify issues and implement solutions, and rewards them when outcomes improve. This project will help provide the equipment, training, mentoring and other support that health workers in our 22 partner facilities need to provide high-quality care to every woman.
MHCB's partner sites see 80,000 deliveries a year. By helping equip health workers to make every birth a safe birth, and then continuing to support the same health workers to measure outcomes and identify new areas for improvement, this project will increase health workers' competence, confidence, and sense of ownership over health outcomes. It will also prevent maternal mortality and morbidity, impacting hundreds of thousands of mother-baby pairs in the long term.