Maternal health care is a serious issue in Tanzania, ranging from the lack of facilities in maternity wards, lack of skilled workforce to the lack of neonatal care in hospitals altogether. All these factors contribute to the many problems Tanzanian women face every day when pregnant.
The Mo Dewji Foundation realized that this was a very big problem, and vowed to create interventions that could assist in creating a better environment for pregnant women. Our journey started in the beginning of 2017 at Sekou Toure Hospital in Mwanza whereby we donated beds, mattresses and bed sheets to the maternal ward that was operating over capacity, unable to care for the influx of women coming in every day. Through our donation we hoped to improve the carrying capacity of the maternal ward and to provide more a more comfortable environment for women in labor and after.
However our journey did not stop there, this month we were lucky enough to expand our reach to Mbeya together with Tulia Trust, an organization founded by Hon Dr Tulia Ackson Deputy Speaker of the parliament of The United Republic of Tanzania. Our donation will go towards building latrines at Rungwe Hospital in Tukuyu, Mbeya. The maternity ward at this hospital only has one toilet, a condition which is almost unbearable for the amount of women that are in there every day. This donation will go towards improving these health care facilities and improving maternal health care in Tanzania as a whole.
Women are the foundation of so many communities. Studies have shown that working with women, increasing their income and education, is the best way to positively impact a community. On Wednesday 8th march we celebrated International Women’s day and what better way to honor women around the world than to ensure they have adequate maternal health facilities. Adequate sanitation is fundamental to a healthy and dignified life, it decreases infection rates and furthermore strengthens health systems which is what we aim to do. Therefore increased interventions such as building latrines in maternal wards are key to uplifting communities and strengthening health systems in Tanzania.
As a foundation we vow to continue doing this good work in improving maternal health care in Tanzania, as the saying goes ‘’empowering one woman means empowering a community’’.