Respectful Maternity Care
History & Mission
WRA Tanzania was established in 2004 as a collaborative advocacy movement to save the lives of women and newborns in Tanzania through inspired action and sustained improvements from across the government to the community.
More than 30 women and 180 newborns die each day in Tanzania due to labor complications and lack of quality care stemming from the lack of critical infrastructure, equipment, lifesaving supplies and adequate health workforce.
By ensuring that health facilities are equipped to deliver Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care services, we can effectively address the fatal complications of childbirth, including severe bleeding, infection, prolonged or obstructed labor, eclampsia, and asphyxia in the newborn.
Out of the 700 health centers in Tanzania, only 117 — roughly 16% — provide emergency maternity services. On a mission to improve maternal and child health in Tanzania, WRA Tanzania, together with its partners and champions, launched a campaign to bolster the budget for maternal health with the slogans, “Zero Tolerance to Maternal Death: BE ACCOUNTABLE,” and “Social Accountability for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health.”
By bringing attention to the issue of maternal death in Tanzania on the national and international level, WRA Tanzania has been able to work with policy makers, responsible ministries, citizens and media to secure the allocation of more financial resources for Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC) and to put in place measures to protect the budget once allocated, also called ring fencing, leading to an historic increase of 52.6% in the budget for maternal and newborn health from the previous year.
- In 2017, WRA Tanzania secured a 52.6% increase to the country’s maternal health budget, ensuring emergency services would be available to more pregnant women, new mothers and their babies. Read more.
- Between 2013-2015, WRA Tanzania successfully advocated that health centers in Rukwa Region have the staff, equipment and supplies to provide emergency maternal and newborn health services. Now, 50% of all Rukwa health centers there can provide life-saving services to women and babies who need them. We are now duplicating that effort for the rest of the country. Read the impact study.
WRA Tanzania News
CLIMBING FOR MOTHERS: White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) Tanzania flag bearers carrying the message; "Zero Tolerance to Maternal Deaths. BE ACCOUNTABLE." to Uhuru Peak Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895m - 19,341 ft), on behalf of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, the WRA and mothers worldwide.
AT UHURU PEAK: Dr. Phinias Sospeter (R) from the Ministry of Health and tour guides reach the highest point in Africa - the first to do so in the name of safe motherhood.
Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health (MoH) and Dr Neema Rusibamayila also from MoH, appreciating WRA Tanzania and pregnant women who attended the 2017/ 2018 MoH budget session at Parliament.
MIDWIVES SAVE LIVES: Skilled midwives are important in the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths. Midwives at Sumbawanga Regional Hospital.
MEDIA ENGAGEMENT: Media has a crucial role to play in amplifying citizens voice. WRA Tanzania National Coordinator Rose Mlay talks to media about life serving services for pregnant women and newborns that should be within quick reach for the community.
THE JOY OF MOTHERHOOD: A mother and her child at Mtowisa Health Centre, Rukwa Tanzania.
CHAMPIONS: Hon. Ummy Mwalimu, Minister for Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, concurred with WRA Tanzania National Coordinator Rose Mlay by saying “If we real mean to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, I request all of us not to approve comprehensive council health budgets (CCHPs) that do not prioritize safe motherhood".
POLITICAL SUPPORT: The Vice President of Tanzania Hon. Samia Suluhu joined White Ribbon Alliance to launch a new Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 on White Ribbon Day in March 15, 2016.
PETITIONING: A citizen hands over a petition on citizens demand to provision of CEmONC services in health centers to Hon. Said Meki Sadick Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner on behalf of Prime Minister who was the guest of honor during White Ribbon Day on March 10th, 2017. The government has committed to upgrade more 150 health centers to provide CEmONC services in in FY2017/18.
CITIZENS’ VOICES MATTER: One of the citizens giving her views during a recent citizen hearing in Lugala Village, in Dodoma Region.
Thank you to our partners
WRA Tanzania has many member organizations working at the national and global levels, including (in alphabetical order): African Medical and Research Foundation; Africare; Association of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians; Benjamin William Mkapa Foundation; Care International; Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania; Childbirth Survival International; Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania; Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; EngenderHealth; ITV Tanzania; Jhpiego; Marie Stopes International; Medical Women Association of Tanzania; Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children; Parliamentary Group For Safe Motherhood; Partnership for Nutrition in Tanzania; Pathfinder International; Plan International; PSI; Radio One Tanzania; Save The Children; Tanzania Gender Networking Programme; Tanzania Midwives Association; Thamini Uhai; UNICEF, UNFPA; WAMA Foundation; World Health Organization; World Vision
NATIONAL COORDINATOR, WRA TANZANIA
As National Coordinator of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in Tanzania, Rose Mlay leads in organizational strengthening and sustainability as well as building membership to advocate for Maternal and Newborn Health in Tanzania.
Since 2005, her work as National Coordinator has led her to form a coalition of NGOs, associations, institutions, media, UN and parliamentarians. The Alliance began by identifying contributing factors and solutions to help the 30 women and 180 newborns dying in childbirth every day in Tanzania and proved that the way to resolve this daily tragedy is through comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC). On this basis, Rose led the Alliance into advocating for a specific budget line for CEmONC by targeting high profile politicians. WRA Tanzania’s work led – for the first time ever – to the creation of a budget line for CEmONC in 2015.
Through Rose’s leadership of WRA Tanzania’s 2015-2018 campaign for an increased budget for CEmONC countrywide, we saw a 52.7% increase in CEmONC budget in the 2017/2018 health budget when compared to the 2016/2017.
Rose holds a MN, BSCN from Dalhousie University and was a lecturer at MUHAS. Rose is one of the editors of the Africa Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health and is the founder of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood in Tanzania (WRATZ). Rose is a mother of three and in her private time she enjoys Bible Study and Gospel Music.
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