Mother & Child Care
- Better Health for Better Life -
Akida (name changed) is a young girl living in a remote village in the southern part of Tanzania. She was expecting her first child with her husband. Few days before the actual date of delivery, labor pains started in the middle of the night. She had to be rushed to St. Joseph Mother and Child Clinic in Namiungo, where she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. This was not the scenario prior to 2014, when the Mother and Child Clinic did not exist. Women had to deliver at home without medical help, because in the vicinity medical facilities simply were not available.
The southern part of Tanzania is far less developed than the North, in terms of infrastructure as well as of income level of the population. Children and women are the most vulnerable among the general population. In order to address the issues of health, Salvatorians initiated the St. Joseph Dispensary in Namiungo in 1998. And to address the health situation of women and children, Salvatorians upgraded the dispensary and added a Mother and Child Clinic in 2014. Br. Fulmence Waseme SDS, the clinician of the health centre, is responsible for the management.
The project consisted of:
- the establishment of a Mother & Child Hospital with dedicated staff, equipment and supplies for prenatal, delivery and post-natal services
- technical improvement of the facilities through the purchase of modern technical equipment and supplies for the present dispensary
- better organization of the logistics, spaces, and services
- improved care for emergency patients (women with delivery complications and other critically ill pediatric and adult patients), including the purchase of an ambulance
- the provision of bicycles for the Community Health Workers in the surrounding villages
As a result, the present health structure has a greater capacity in the management of the most common diseases and in the referral of emergency patients. With over 6,000 examinations of under 5 year-olds each year, the centre proves it delivers quality and answers the need. In addition, the dispensary is implementing a nutritional program for children under five. This is a very important awareness initiative, which is appreciated also by the local health authorities.