The Study On Rural Women Calls For Extra Vigilance On Childbirth

By The Citizen Reporter

District health committees must have special programmes that can help pregnant women in rural areas prepare to deal with possible complications that may arise during child birth, says a study unveiled on Thursday June 27 during the 7th Muhas Scientific Conference.

pregnant black woman

Majority of women in Biharamulo District, Kagera Region where the study was carried out, have been found to have insufficient knowledge about birth preparedness and complication readiness, said the lead author of the study, Dr Norman Billy, a medic at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).

He said community health workers can be used as reliable people in implementing the preparedness programs at community level through follow up visits to pregnant women’s home, suggested the medic.

“… there should be an emphasis on awareness] among pregnant women but also to their partners and the community as well,” he added.

Dr Billy joined a team of researchers who showcased their research findings at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences conference that was graced by the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Dr Leonard Akwilapo.

The PS said the government is now banking on the research findings presented by the experts to improve health services in Tanzania.

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“… [studies] disseminated in this MUHAS Annual Scientific Conferences will be translated into products and services that can be commercialized for the benefit of all Tanzanians,” he said

Dr Billy’s study, which involved 379 pregnant women at antenatal clinics in Biharamulo District, was one of the many studies which were showcased during the Muhas conference, promoting senior researchers to call for more funding in studies that can improve people’s lives in rural parts of the country.

According to the study, only 29.8% of women who were interviewed were found to be well prepared for birth and its complications… while 36.2% of [them] had saved money for delivery and emergency if needed and 23.5% had already prepared transport for delivery or emergency.

The Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS) report of 2015/2016 indicates that the maternal mortality rate (MMR) has increased from 432 to 556 per 100,000 live births.

The chairman of the conference, Prof Melkizedeck Leshabari told The Citizen that the persistent burden of maternal mortality has been difficult to control, and that’s why experts come have together to brainstorm ideas on how to get out of that deadlock.

“It’s a moment to improve people’s lives through research,” he said.

For his part, the Muhas Vice Chancellor, Prof Andre Pembe said his institution was now geared at increasing its research capacity for the community development and improving health systems.

Source: Citizen

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