Respectful Maternity Care
History & Mission
Since 2004, WRA Tanzania’s advocacy has ignited a collaborative movement to save the lives of women and newborns in Tanzania. They are activating a people-led movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights through educating and empowering citizens about their health and rights and demanding for accountability.
Women are experiencing disrespectful treatment during childbirth, which may lead to dissatisfaction or distrust in health systems, in turn leading to adverse health outcomes.
By training citizens and providers on the rights of women and newborns in childbirth, based on the Respectful Maternity Care Charter, we can ensure women’s right to dignity in health care and improve effective utilization of facilities for childbirth to reduce maternal mortality.
WRA Tanzania’s new Strategic Plan 2019–2022 will increase access for all women and newborns to quality maternal and newborn health services before, during and after childbirth.
For sixteen years, WRA Tanzania has grown by mobilizing citizens to advocate for improved reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health outcomes while demanding accountability for commitments made by decision-makers.
WRA Tanzania is continually advocating to advance respectful maternity care in Tanzania, working to expand the institutionalization of the Government’s Client-Provider Service Charter. As of March 2020, 328 health facilities in 16 districts across 4 regions had publicly displayed the charter.
WRA Tanzania is working to enhance the capacity of women and girls, men and boys, and health workers at community and health facilities to prevent and respond to violence against women. Utilizing national guidelines on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) the Respectful Maternity Care Charter, they are training citizens and community health workers to recognize, respond, prevent and report incidences of violence against women and girls.
WRA Tanzania is calling for commitments from policy and decision-makers and demanding citizen’s voices be heard and acted upon. In 2019, they launched the What Women Want Campaign results at the Parliament with Parliamentarian Group for Safe Motherhood, including the Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.
As part of the global What Women Want campaign, WRA Tanzania and more than 200 partners mobilized 111,901 responses from women and girls in over 10 districts across Tanzania. The top demands: quality medicines and supplies, respectful and dignified care, and improved maternal and reproductive health services.
As a strategy to prevent maternal deaths in Kagera region, WRA Tanzania enhanced the capacity of communities recognize, respond, prevent and report Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). As a result, 176 women who experienced VAWG reported to the health facility for treatment as well as to law enforcement, leading to the 30-year imprisonment of 3 abusers.
WRA Tanzania built the capacity of district authorities in Kigoma, Mwanza, Shinyanga and Simiyu to ensure respectful care, youth-friendly services, and an increase in male engagement. As a result of these advocacy efforts, 80 health facilities adopted the government’s Client – Provider Service Charter as a billboard for public information on their rights and responsibilities, and more than 1,500 women were accompanied by their male spouses while attending maternity services.
WRA Tanzania News
WHAT WOMEN WANT: The launch of the What Women Want campaign in Tanzania, analyzing all of the responses shared by women regarding what they want for reproductive and maternal health care. Tanzania is able to take the results to stakeholders in order to keep them accountable for meeting the needs of women around Tanzania.
WHAT WOMEN WANT DEMANDS: A woman in Tanzania shares her demand for What Women Want for their reproductive and maternal health care. Tanzania gathered the input of hundreds of women around the country.
MARCHING TO END VIOLENCE: WRA Tanzania Marches for the stop of violence against women and girls and reduce death in childbirth as a part of their safe motherhood efforts.
CITIZENS’ VOICES MATTER: One of the citizens giving out her views during a recent citizens hearing in Ludala Village. The hearing involved more than 450 citizens, a ward executive officer, 1 parliament member from Dodoma region, a municipal reproductive and child health coordinator, and a regional medical officer who was represented by regional health secretary.
AT UHURU PEAK: "Vifo vitokanavyo na uzazi havivumiliki. WAJIBIKA" - "Zero Tolerance to Maternal Deaths. BE ACCOUNTABLE." A message to all, on Uhuru peak. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
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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