Improving access to antenatal services in the Simiyu Region of Tanzania.
The Simiyu Region of Tanzania is home to 1.6 million people, yet there are just four hospitals and 17 health centres to cater for the whole population. Due to the hospitals’ limited capacity, many pregnant women end up delivering their babies at home without medical assistance, leading to high rates of maternal and child mortality.
Together with Amref Health Africa in Canada, we established a project to reduce the number of maternal and child deaths in Simiyu Region, known in Swahili as “Uzazi Uzima”, or “Safe Deliveries” in English. The project aimed to build the capacity of the local health system to provide quality health services; to empower and educate the communities on their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); and to encourage increased uptake of those services. In turn, fewer women are giving birth at home without sterile equipment or medical support, and adolescent girls are able to learn about how to keep themselves safe and prioritise their future.
The project, which closed in 2021, reached more than 680,000 women, girls, men and boys directly through integrated health-focused activities. More than 800 Community Health Workers (CHWs) were trained on sexual and reproductive health and rights, enabling them to educate their community about how to practice safe sex. The number of births that took place at a health facility rose from 24% to 80% since the beginning of the project, and 82% of young people, aged 10 to 24, accessed the youth-friendly health services established through the project.
The Uzazi Uzima project in Simiyu Region, Tanzania is a partnership between Amref Health Africa, Marie Stopes and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, with Deloitte as a service partner. Amref Health Africa would like to take this opportunity to thank our donors, the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and James Percy Foundation, for making this work possible.