COMBATTING MATERNAL DEATHS AND DISABILITIES IN SHINYANGA AND KAGERA REGIONS

The Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation (BMF) handed over newly equipped obstetric theaters, maternity ward and staff house in Kagera and Shinyanga regions in December 2015 worth more than Tanzanian shillings 450million. The noble efforts is part of the Foundation’s signature programme namely, the Mkapa Fellows Programme II, which is a five (5) year initiative aiming to improve HIV/AIDS care and Treatment, Prevention of Mother to Child HIV Transmission (PMTCT) and Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) services through Human Resource for Health, Infrastructure development and Capacity building in rural underserved and hard to reach areas.

BMF handed over one newly constructed obstetric theater and one maternity ward located at the Nyakanazi Health centre and one staff house for health workers located in Nyakahura health centres, whereby both centres are within the rural settings of Biharamulo district in Kagera Region. Furthermore basic theatre equipments were procured by the Mkapa Foundation and handed over to the same facilities to ensure quality maternal health care is rendered to pregnant mothers and their babies.

Likewise the Foundation handed over one newly constructed theatre and its basic theatre equipments for the Bunambiyu health centre, which is located in Kishapu district of Shinyanga region

The handover ceremonies, which took place in Kagera and Shinyanga was attended by residents within the regions. The residents especially women were excited to receive the building and its amenities and they urged on the need to have them well maintained and ensure they are not charged any fees as per the Government policy on Reproductive and Child health services.

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Community members attentively following the handover ceremony of the theaters, maternity ward and staff house in Biharamulo District – Kagera Region.

Inaugurating the handing over ceremonies that took place in both regions, the guest of honor for Kagera, Hon John V.K. Mongella (Regional Commissioner of Kagera) and for Shinyanga, Hon Ali Nasoro Rufunga (Regional Commissioner of Shinyanga) were both in difference occasions pleased with the support rendered by the Mkapa Foundation.

John Mongella

The guest of honor Hon. John V.K Mongella Regional Commissioner of Kagera cuts a tape to officiate the handing over of the theaters, maternity ward and staff house constructed by BMF in Biharamulo districts. On his right is Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, Chief Executive Officer of BMF

Dr.Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro

 Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro – Chief Executive Officer of BMF handing over a certificate of completion to Hon. Ali Nassoro Rufunga – Regional Commissioner of Shinyanga to mark the handing over of equipped obstetric theater constructed in Kishapu District.

Addressing the citizens during the event, Hon. John V.K Mongella urged the Local Government Authority (LGA’s) to ensure that the theaters, maternity ward and staff house handed over by Mkapa Foundation are well utilized and maintained to serve its intended purpose. “we all understand that currently it is the era of the 5th phase Government which emphasizes on “ Hapa Kazi tu”, thus everyone is obliged to work hard in ensuring development is well achieved within the communities”, said the Regional Commissioner Mr. Mongella.

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Hon. John V.K Mongella giving a speech during the handing over ceremony of equipped obstetric theater, maternity ward and staff house in Kagera

The RC of Shinyanga, Hon. Ali Nassoro Rufunga insisted on having the Councils complement further the contribution made by the Foundation in close collaboration with the Corporates that donated to the course. “I highly recognize the commitment of His Excellency Benjamin Mkapa the founder of the Mkapa Foundation, whereby we see the complementary support to the Government in advancing the Tanzania development agenda. I further commend the Corporates and Parastatals that have joined hands towards the noble course of the Foundation.” said the RC of Shinyanga.

Both Regional leaders, urged the LGAs to set adequate budget and set feasible actions to meet the needs of safe delivery, availability of safe blood supply, improved referrals as well as continuous training of health professionals on safe motherhood.

The CEO of BMF, Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro said, “This program which involves construction of theaters is to combat the increased maternal deaths and disabilities which occur in rural settings where majority of pregnant mothers who get complications face challenge to receive immediate emergency care. It is anticipated that the Local Government Authorities will own the initiative and ensure the theatres are well maintained and operating with required standards at all times”

The Fellows Program phase II targets to strengthen HIV/AIDs and maternal health services in 15 districts within Rukwa, Shinyanga, Simiyu, Kagera and Zanzibar regions.”

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The CEO of BMF Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro speaking during the handing over ceremony in Kagera region.

The program is supported by the Government of Ireland through the Irish Aid and many other corporates including ACACIA and others to mention a few, they are Bank M, NSSF, Quality Group, Anglo Gold Ashanti, PPF, NBC, Bank of Tanzania, CRDB and Clouds Media Group. More than 50 corporates donated to the Foundation from July 2012 – June 2013 through the local fundraising initiatives and through the generous donation, the Foundation has also been able to recruit 30 qualified skilled health professionals including doctors who were deployed to work in the rural health centers.

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The RC of Shinyanga Hon Ali Nassoro Rufunga, CEO of BMAF Dr. Ellen Mkondya-Senkoro, Shinyanga LGAs, representative from NSSF and AngloGold Ashanti together with health workers of Binambiyu health center.

 

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“GETTING TO ZERO – ARE WE THERE YET?

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As we are approaching the end of 2015 marking the end of the theme “Getting to Zero” the question remains to us is are our concerted efforts getting us to Zero New HIV infection, Zero Stigma and Discrimination and Zero AIDS related Death”?

According to the national statistics the HIV prevalence rate has decreased from 7% in 2014 to 5.3% in 2015. Stigma index in Tanzania has reduced from 65.2% for male and 79.7% for female in year 2008 to 59.6% male and 74.6% female in Year 2012 and deaths due to AIDS has diminished by 44% from 2005 to 2013. Despite major achievements, yet still we require concerted efforts to reach the ZERO target.

As we commemorate the World AIDS Day of 2015, we heartily remember our loved ones whom we lost during this fight and those who are living with HIV and AIDS, We call upon everyone to play a vital role at individual, societal, national and international level, so as to bring change and allow us reach the goal of ZERO

The Mkapa Foundation remains committed and diligent to improving health services and health of the Tanzanian community, through systems strengthening which is crucial in providing quality and equitable HIV and AIDS services.

It is time to further amplify our efforts, and accelerate our actions to close the gap between the people who have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support service and those who are inhibited. Together we can continue bringing HOPE to the underserved.

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