Tanzania to build exclusive maternal and newborn health facility

The president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete has instructed the Dar es Salaam regional authorities to construct a new clinical facility that would be used solely for the purpose of improving the region's maternal and newborn health care.

Tanzania Daily News reports that conventional hospitals in the area are not equipped to cope with the huge demand for pregnancy services, with Mwananyamala Hospital having only 18 beds on its maternity ward, despite sheltering around 80 women in labour at any one time.

However, the Dar es Salaam region has managed to use these existing facilities to reduce the number of deaths associated with child births over the years. The publication reports that maternal mortality has dropped from 135 deaths per live births in 2005, to 99 deaths per live births in 2012.

It is hoped the new facility can further reduce these figures as the Millennium Development Goals deadline approaches.

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