Newly Constructed Maternity Ward in Tanzania Offers Improved Healthcare to Women and Infants
U.S. service members and health officials from the U.S. Embassy, together with Tanzanian government officials, dedicated a labor ward and a renovated postnatal building at the Njombe District hospital August 25, 2008. The hospital additions, including a new neonatal room for babies born with complications and a labor ward, were provided jointly by the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), Family Health International (FHI), and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project was completed in an effort to provide Tanzanians access to improved medical facilities. It is estimated that thousands of lives will be saved through the provisions of quality maternal and newborn care including Prevention of Mother to Child Prevention Transmission of HIV services and referral to HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment clinics.
Remarking on the new facilities, a USAID representative said, "Every woman should give birth at a health facility because every pregnancy is risky by itself and an unskilled attendant might not be in a position to notice and solve an emergence life threatening problem. Above all, women and parents must have a family plan. A plan that will make sure that maternal newborn and child health is every ones responsibility from the family to community levels, health care providers and policy makers."
The renovation included the refurbishment of the existing maternity structure, the construction of five delivery rooms, a nursing station, and two nurseries. The team also repaired floors, replaced doors and windows, and installed sanitized water lines.
The newly constructed clinic adds to the medical capabilities of the region, and enables an improved level of care for mothers, infants, and children in the area. The main focus of the program is to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths through quality antenatal and postnatal care.