DAR ES SALAAM:FORMER President, Jakaya Kikwete has applauded the government for notable reduction of maternal deaths from 556 in every 100,000 live births in 2016 to 104 deaths in 2022.
Dr Kikwete made the remarks on Thursday during the official opening of the Second Scientific Conference on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition being held in Dar es Salaam.
In the conference which involves various health experts, Dr Kikwete said in 2000 to 2015 the Millenium Development Goals required developing countries to reduce maternal deaths to 191 in every 100,000 live births but in 2015 Tanzania reached 432 deaths in every 100,000 live births and continued to increase up to 556 in 2016.
“The current direction of reducing maternal deaths is commendable, the number of deaths has dropped from 556 in 2016 to 104 in 2022. This is a huge milestone… I commend the government and Ministry of Health for the efforts made … it is disgracing to see a woman dying while giving birth,” Dr Kikwete said.
For her part, Minister for Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu expressed gratitude to Dr Kikwete for recognising and valuing reproductive health services during his leadership.
She said that in 2014 the government launched a programme for encouraging better reproductive health services with the aim of reducing maternal and child mortality.
The scientific conference evolved from previously held annual stakeholders’ meetings. The idea was conceived in one of the routine quarterly RMNCAH Technical Working group meetings to respond to the need for bringing key stakeholder together to disseminate, validate and learn lessons of available best practices and evidence-based interventions for scale-up.
The Ministry of Health and partners convened the first ever RMNCAH conference in November 2021.
The three-day event, held at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) was attended by over 1,400 delegates including dignitaries, local and international experts.
Major deliberations emanating from discussions during plenary and breakout sessions conducted covering over 200 abstracts aiming at improving enabling environment, availability and access to quality RMNCAH + N services in Tanzania.