With your support, Medipeace staff in Tanzania have been meeting with Mwananyamala Regional Referral Hospital staff and finalized the items which will be included in our 1st Birthday Kits. These include two different types of items: materials for medical staff to use during childbirth,and those for mothers to use to take care of the new born babies at home. This is to make sure that we are providing enough kit supplies to reduce the rate of infection when the newborn leaves the hospital.
We will be distributing these kits to 250 mothers delivering at the Mwananyamala Regional Referral Hospital in Tanzania. As of now, we are in the process of creating kit guidelines and packing materials.
All of the other items such as medical supplies will be purchased at the end of October in Tanzania. With the help of Mwananyamala Hospital staff, Medipeace will begin distributing the 1st Birthday Kits at the beginning of November.
Risks and challenges
So far, we have not encountered any challenges with completing the project. But we have concerns that the distribution of the 1st Birthday Kits while an important short-term solution, alone cannot be the comprehensive solution to eradicate the fundamental problem of newborn infection rate. Furthermore, it is only a one-time support project; therefore, the local hospital will later face the same problem of neonatal infection after the end of this project. For this matter, we are now considering scaling up the project to the extent of 3-year one, so that the local hospital itself has the power to protect babies and mothers from infection disease.
"The 1st Birthday Kit Project in Tanzania will be a very helpful project that is responding to the very need of the Tanzanian society. It breaks our heart that the environment is inadequate for newborns to maintain their health. Our hope is that more mothers and newborns receive the benefit of this project." commented by the Medipeace staff in Tanzania.
We will try to cooperate with the local medical staff in order to find an efficient way to distribute the kit supplies. We also need to figure out how to evaluate this project in terms of its overall effectiveness.
The neonatal mortality rate of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania was 70.9 per 1000 child birth in 2011, while the national figure was much lower like 26. Every month about 50 babies are dying there. Among the reasons of neonatal mortality, more than 25% of the deaths are caused by infectious diseases. In this situation, our 1st Birthday Kit distribution will lead the remarkable change to manage the impact of infectious diseases.
Medipeace is saving the lives of women and newborns in Tanzania by providing clean birth kits.
Why we care: In Tanzania, one woman dies every hour because of complications associated with pregnancy and child birth; in addition, two infants die per hour from infection.
How we're solving this: Providing 250 clean birth kits to help reduce the chance of genital tract and umbilical cord infections in mothers and newborns.
Many hospitals in Tanzania are short on funding and require expectant mothers to bring their own medical supplies—such as gloves, blade and cord clamps—for their delivery. If a woman is unable to buy supplies, re-used material and non-medical purpose fabrics may be used to tie the umbilical cord, increasing the risk of infections for both mother and newborn.
The 250 kits, distributed from a dispensary in Dar es Salaam, will include:
- sterile gloves
- rolls of cotton wool
- surgical blades
- cord clamps
- Oxytocin (to control bleeding after birth)
Help provide these lifesaving supplies to ensure that mothers safely deliver healthy newborns.