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Improvement of the access to health care in the Mwanga district and town

Lack of access to health care in Tanzania, especially when it concerns pregnant women and small children, is a direct reason for high mortality rate of pregnant women, mothers, infants and children under 5 years of age. This also applies to Mwanga district, where the project is implemented. One of the few medical institutions, which can help to find the most needy ones, is Neema health centre. Each year this centre reports a growing number of patients, far beyond the capacity of the facility. From Neema services benefit residents of Mwanga and neighbouring villages all over the district. Due to the rapidly growing needs, Sisters who have managed the centre for several years are trying to expand the infrastructure and raise the profile of the clinic facility, which will enable them to conduct more complex treatments. The necessity to broaden the range of medical services is particularly visible in the field of perinatal care and health of infants, especially premature babies. The problems which occur very frequently in Tanzania are childbirth complications that require a caesarean section. Current conditions make it impossible to execute such procedures in a manner that protects the health and life of a woman and her child. Complications are often the result of late arrival of women to a health centre and inadequate care of their health during pregnancy.

Improvement of the access to health care in the Mwanga district and town

The project will be implemented in the period from 11 March to 31 December 2014 (Module I) in Mwanga district. The primary purpose is to improve the treatment of the inhabitants of the city and Mwanga district, in particular pregnant women, mothers (especially during childbirth), infants and children under 5 years of age, through the development of infrastructure and the purchase of professional medical equipment. The project also includes training activities, aimed at improving the quality of medical services. Educational initiatives foreseen in the project can contribute to increasing awareness and knowledge among pregnant women and young girls.

The project involves enlargement of the Neema centre through creation of a new surgical unit and purchase of two-wheeled ambulances that enable fast transport of pregnant women, even from the most inaccessible villages. In the first year of the project implementation classes concerning reproductive health will be organized as a part of antenatal class. The classes are targeted to pregnant women living in Mwanga. In the second year the classes will be aimed at women living in small villages in the district, a few or even several kilometres away from Mwanga.

The activities conducted under the project will not only help to treat patients more effectively, including a possibility of caesarean deliveries, but also will ensure that the facility obtains status of a hospital. The project involves improving quality of health care through support of institutions providing medical services and purchase of necessary equipment. In addition, it serves to improve access to health care by raising awareness and knowledge among current and potential patients of Neema health centre. The coordinators of the project will use the knowledge and experience of employees working in the existing largest hospital in the area – St. Joseph in Moshi run by the Kilimanjaro Sisters.