This project aims to strengthen maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) services at the local level and reduce the number of mothers and children who die due to disease in Tanzania. The project includes improving policies and practices that promote maternal and newborn health and nutrition in a gender-responsive manner, in order to improve access to quality reproductive health, child health, and nutrition services for women and children. The project works to bring basic emergency obstetric and newborn care services and integrated management of newborn and childhood illness to 70% of health centers in underserved districts. It helps to establish comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services in all six district health facilities in Zanzibar. As a result of this project, 80% of primary health care facilities are expected to have at least two trained MNCH health providers and all regional and targeted districts are expected to have one trained nutrition coordinator. The project also aims to connect at least 40% of districts to electronic stock management systems that enable them to monitor their supply of essential medicines, vaccines, contraceptives, and other supplies and to forecast future requirements. The project is expected to lead to skilled attendants assisting 80% of births, a decrease in chronic malnutrition among children in targeted districts, and a 50% increase in breastfeeding for infants under six months of age. The One UN Program promotes improved coordination, efficiency, and effectiveness of UN agencies at the country level by establishing one leader, one program, one budgetary framework, and one office for all the agencies. This project is part of Canada’s maternal, newborn, and child health commitment.
Results achieved as of May 2013 include: 1) 7,200 infants aged less than two years and 9,800 pregnant and lactating women received food and general nutrition education in 40 health facilities across three rural districts; 2) 35 new walk-in cold rooms were installed in each region, increasing the Central Medical Stores Department and cold-chain storage capacity by 625% from 15,546 litres in 2009 to 97,144 litres in 2012, allowing for the safe and sufficient storage of essential medicines; 3) two new vaccines (Rota and Pneumococcus) were successfully introduced to reduce child mortality due to diarrhea, pneumonia and other diseases.
These results are contributing to improving access to quality reproductive and maternal, newborn and child health services, particularly for women and girls in under-served areas.