Maternal Life Tanzania

We share a dream with our dear brothers and sisters in Tanzania: that this vast and lovely country will be a place where safe births and healthy marriages and families will become the norm.  Much work needs to be done. The maternal death rate in Tanzania is still so high (454 deaths per 100,000 life births). Only 51% of women deliver with a skilled birth attendance.  Many of the problems related to maternal and newborn deaths have their genesis in a couple’s relationships: women may not deliver in a health center or hospital because they do not have the support of their husband!

Maternal Life Tanzania is directed by Paschal and Melania Maziku who are centered in Dar es Salaam.  They are providing Faithful House and Couple Bead training within the Archdiocese of Dar es Salaam as well as the adjoining rural dioceses of Njombe, Ruvuma and Lindi.  In addition, they are working closely with the Little Sisters of St. Francis to build a model “Safe Birth Unit” at Kilimahewa Health Center.

Paschal and Melania begin their work in Dar es Salaam by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment.  They conducted over 70 interviews with key health, government, and church personnel to better understand the scope of problems facing Tanzania.  The picture that emerged reflected the profound need for MLI-based programs:

·         There was so many social problems secondary to broken marriages and families

·         There was inadequate obstetrical care access, services and training

·         There were very limited social service resources to deal with many of the problems (i.e. orphans, street children, abused women) that resulted from the breakdown of marriage and family life. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE WHOLE SURVEY)

In response to this situation, MLI Tanzania has been conducting Faithful House training and outreach.  They have recruited and trained other couples as well as working with religious congregations.  Over the past year, they conducted Faithful House training in Dar-es-Salaam (10 Parishes), Arusha region, Dodoma region (4 Parishes), Morogoro region,  Njombe region, Ruvuma region and Mtwara  and reached 696 couples. Their mission is making healthy, respectful and life-giving marriages the norm in Tanzania!

The response to their work has been overwhelming: many parishes and regions want to introduce these programs and yet we do not have enough trained facilitators and staff.  With your support, we can expand and make these programs more available throughout Tanzania. 

·         FACILITATOR TRAINING: Paschal and Melania along with support of our Maternal Life Uganda team can provide a “Faithful House” facilitator training in order to train and certify additional facilitator couples.

·         TRAVEL AND RURAL OUTREACH: Support the travel and outreach of Paschal and Melania as they go to locations throughout Tanzania (Tanzania is a huge country with underdeveloped roads – one must travel long distances to reach rural areas where programs are needed)

·         TANZANIA FAITHFUL HOUSE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT :  Tanzania has 25 mainland regions divided into 5 main zones NORTHERN TANZANIA (Mara region which is motherland of Wasonga’s family, Kagera region, Mwanza,  Shinyanga, Geita and Simiu regions), SOUTHERN TANZANIA (Mbeya, Iringa, Njombe, Ruvuma, Lindi and Mtwara regions) EASTERN TANZANIA (Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Morogoro, Dar-es-Salaam, Manyara, Arusha and Coast regions), WESTERN TANZANIA (Rukwa, Kigoma and Katavi regions) CENTRAL TANZANIA (Dodoma, Singida and Tabora regions). Maternal Life Tanzania has formed three groups of Lead Facilitators who are committed to introducing the Programme into the 5 main zones of the Tanzania mainland;

o   GROUP ONE: Wenceslaus Mapuli and Victoria N.Mapuli, Benjamin Wasonga and Lilian Lucinda Wasonga, Paschal Maziku and Melania Maziku.

o   GROUP TWO: Protas Mayemba and Consolata Hongoli, Emmanuel Muhambule and Martha Muhambule, Sixtus Ndenje and Maria Immaculata Nsongo.

o   GROUP THREE: Paul Mfungahema and Asela M. Mfungahema, Michael Nyagalu and Sabina Nyagalu, John Dalali and Lucia Dalali, Sr. Bernadetha P. Mkalole. 

 

Kilimahewa Health and Safe Birth Center

 

Nine out of ten maternal deaths in Tanzania can be prevented by access to skilled birth attendance.  It is a simple yet elusive solution:

 

THE PRESENCE OF A SKILLED, COMPASSIONATE BIRTH ATTENDANCE TEAM (MIDWIFE, NURSE, PHYSICIAN + FACILITY CAPABLE OF CESAREAN SECTION AND BLOOD TRANSFUSION) =  SAFE DELIVERY

 

We need to make this solution a reality!  We are beginning with Kilimahewa Health Center.  Our goal is to upgrade the present health center to a model safe birth center providing comprehensive obstetrical care services and couple and family-centered health education. The center will emphasize respect for the life and dignity of all human persons as the ethical basis of obstetrical care and the call of all health care providers to provide the highest standard of evidence based, compassionate health care.

 

The Safe Birth center will feature three interfacing components:

 

·         SERVICE: Continuous availability of comprehensive obstetrical care including Cesarean sections, blood transfusions, ultrasound, basic fetal heart rate monitoring and infant resuscitation

·          OUTREACH: Community education and outreach to couples and families emphasizing marriage building and stability, natural family planning and care of pregnant women and infants during the first 1000 critical days of life.

·          EDUCATION: On-site and distance learning for midwives, nurses and physicians

 

 

 

Structurally and operationally these three components will be realized through the following:

 

1. Mobile Surgical Unit for Cesarean Sections

2. Blood Banking Unit

3. Mobile Ultrasound

4. Basic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

5. Multi-media Computer Training Unit

6. Couple Focused Training Teams working out of parishes, churches, mosques

7. Ongoing Operational Research Team

 

We are building this dream based upon a number of assets and which have been developed by Maternal Life International, Maternal Life Tanzania and other collaborating partners:

 

·         Solar Powered Mobile Surgical Unit: We have nearly completed the prototype of a mobile surgical unit constructed within a 40 foot shipping container and powered by solar panels/batteries. The unit is self-contained and offers a safe and sterile operating environment. Within the space, there is a preoperative scrub room, an operating room and a room for cleaning and sterile preparation of instruments. The unit can be shipped intact and is independently powered making it ideal for environments which do not have power access or who are dependent on diesel generators.

·         Blood Banking Unit: Using the same platform of a shipping container, a lab, blood typing and refrigerated storage unit can be developed. This would allow for ready access to life-saving blood transfusions for obstetrical emergencies as well as other emergencies such as road traffic accidents. The refrigerated unit can also be used for vaccines and for heat-sensitive medications.

·         The Safe Passages Obstetrical Care Program: We have in place a comprehensive manual and training program which addresses the recognition and management of the five most common causes of maternal death, infant resuscitation, and management of common newborn complications

·         The Faithful House Program: We have in place a program for marriage preparation and renewal which has been demonstrated to improve a couple’s relational and economic well-being, reduce domestic violence and enhance respect for women. Women are more likely to receive both antenatal care and skilled birth attendance with the support of their male partner.

·         The Couple Bead Method of Natural Family Planning: We have developed a simplified method of natural family planning which uses a system of colored beads and is appropriate for couples of all educational backgrounds. The method is consistent with cultural and religious values and can be taught in both a community based and health care based setting.

·         Multi-media Computer Unit: Through modern communication and network platforms, distance learning for midwifes, nurses, medical students and physicians can be put in place. These educational units can be integrated and wired into existing facilities or can be built into the shipping container unit.

 

Please consider supporting the expansion of our Maternal Life Tanzania team and the development of the “Safe Birth Unit” at Kilimahewa Health Center.   Any amount can help us realize the dream of safe births and happy families in Tanzania.  Thank-you!

Our Needs and Costs in Tanzania:

·         FACILITATOR TRAINING (25 COUPLES FOR ONE WEEK) – 9,000 DOLLARS

·         TANZANIA FAITHFUL HOUSE RURAL OUTREACH INCLUDING FOLLOW-UPS, MONITORING AND EVALUATION – 6000 DOLLARS (500 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR 12 MONTHS)

·         TANZANIA MAINLAND FAITHFUL HOUSE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT  - 15,000 DOLLARS

·         KILIMAHEWA MODEL SAFE BIRTH UNIT

1.       MOBILE SURGICAL UNIT:  180,000 DOLLARS

2.       BLOOD BANKING UNIT: 95,000 DOLLARS

3.       ULTRASOUND: 10,000 DOLLARS

4.       FETAL MONITORING: 8000 DOLLARS

5.       ESSENTIAL OBSTETRICAL MEDICATIONS: 12,000 DOLLARS

6.       SAFE PASSAGES TRAINING COURSE: 11,000 DOLLARS

 

 

 

 

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