Improved Service Delivery for Safe Motherhood

Competent and adequately resourced midwives save lives. Competent and adequately resourced midwives save lives. Copyright Sanofi

What are the health needs and challenges?

It is estimated that 536,000 women worldwide die of maternal causes, along with 11,000,000 children under five, of which 4.4 million are newborns. The majority of these deaths occur in Sub Saharan Africa. Tanzania is one of the ten countries contributing to 61% and 66% of the global total of maternal and newborn deaths, respectively.

Maternal and newborn health care in Tanzania faces many challenges including a critical shortage of adequately skilled maternal health service providers; and constraints around uptake of, and access to these health services due to barriers including distance to the nearest facility, the lack of affordable transport at the time of labor, and obtaining skilled and affordable care upon arrival at a health facility.

The average distance to the nearest hospital in rural Tanzania is 31.7km and only 5% of health centers are equipped to provide Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

This project will address the need for improved maternal health service delivery in 6 zones across Tanzania; specifically recognizing geographically disadvantaged areas that face limited access to emergency obstetric care; and shortages of adequately skilled maternity health care providers.

The project will strengthen the capacity of practicing, and re-engaged rural midwives across the country through Emergency Skills training workshops, co-delivered on location, by Tanzanian-Canadian midwife pairs. It will also focus on linking the right competencies with rural areas, by identifying traditional birth attendants (TBA) in target communities, and bringing them together with re-engaged retired midwives within those same settings, for mentorship, and skills sharing support - strengthening the continuum of care from home to health facility.

Various tools will be created to enhance midwifery knowledge transfer and advocacy; and essential resources will be provided to support increased access to quality midwifery care.


Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) Canadian Association of Midwives, Cuso International, Muhimbili Hospital, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania, Tanzania Ministry of Health, Tanzania Registered Midwives Association

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, NGOs, Professional Associations

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, Family Planning, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Obstetrics, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Health professionals, Mothers, Women

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Tanzania

Start Date 2011

More information Sanofi Espoir Foundation

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« Enhancing the skills of midwives ensures... individualized care that women need - care that promotes the survival of mothers and babies who could otherwise die. »

Dr. Sebalda Leshabari, General Secretary, Tanzania Midwives Association