Community Health Workers boosts maternal health services in Tanzania

 Prof Japhet Killewo, a medical doctor and Epidemiologist from Muhimbili University, speaks to experts who convened in Dar es Salaam to share research findings and discuss meaningful policies to address maternal and newborn health in Tanzania. The third year dissemination workshop was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and organized by partners within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Muhimbili University, Johns Hopkins University and Tunajali.  Assistant director, Reproductive and Child Division in the ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Neema Rusibamayila specks during a two days workshop on evaluation of the integrated maternal and newborn healthcare programme in Morogoro (year three) by the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and the Johns Hopkins University in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Junajali, whose target is to reduce maternal and infant mortality.  Mainen Moshi, Director of research and publications at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences specks during a two days workshop on evaluation of the integrated maternal and newborn healthcare programme in Morogoro (year three) by the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, the Johns Hopkins University and Tunajali in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, whose target is to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Assistant director, Reproductive and Child Division in the ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Neema Rusibamayila (seated center) in a group photo with experts who convened in Dar es Salaam for a two days seminar to share research findings and to discuss meaningful policies to address maternal and newborn health in Tanzania. The meeting was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and organized by partners within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Muhimbili University, Johns Hopkins University and Tunajali.  A section of experts who convened in Dar es Salaam for a two days seminar to share research findings and to discuss meaningful policies to address maternal and newborn health in Tanzania, shares a light moment as they follow the proceedings. The meeting was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and organized by partners within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Muhimbili University, Johns Hopkins University and Tunajali. ======  =====  ====== Community Health Workers boosts maternal health services in Tanzania 
Evidence is showing that Maternal and Newborn Child Health Community Health Workers (MNCH CHWs) in the country are playing key roles in bridging the gaping gaps of improving maternal services.
During a presentation yesterday at the evaluation of integrated maternal and newborn health care programme in Morogoro region, the Tunajali Technical Director, Mr Protas Ndayanga said that in the five regions they operate, between July last year and March this year, they helped track 20,000 HIV/AIDS patients.
"Of these that they tracked, there were 5,500 for three days didn't show up for their appointments and the community health worker tracked them down and recorded the results. The biggest challenge they face is when the patients don't provide the correct address," he explained.
Results from the third year of the Morogoro Evaluation Project indicate that 99 per cent of all CHWs are happy working and that 90 per cent felt their work to be valued by both the health facility workers and the community.
High levels of satisfaction was reported for the availability of job aids (90 per cent) and registers (91 per cent); level and quality of training received (90 per cent) and quality of their own work (88 per cent).
"Almost all (93 per cent) were unsatsified with the availability of transport used for care provision and for travel to the health facility and 80 per cent of CHWs were dissatisfied with financial incentives provided," the interim report read in part.
During the opening of the two day dissemination workshop of the report, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Director of Preventive Services, Dr Neema Rusibamayila said that the findings of the evaluation would allow key adjustments for optimal performance of the project and inform the policy.
Dr Rusibamayila said that the workshop was a follow up of two workshops held in January 2012 and March 2013 which also aimed at sharing findings from the first and second year of the activities implemented by the project.
"The reports of these dissemination workshops showed that, there was critical information provided which was used to adjust programme strategies. In addition, the workshops fostered closer collaboration among stakeholders," she said.
In her keynote speech, the USAID Country Representative, Dr Raz Stevenson said that in this evaluation, the project activities aimed at assess the role of CHWs and the CHW support systems in delivering an integrated package of interventions.
Dr Stevenson said the research aimed to both assess the functionality of the recurrent integrated CHW programme, as well as to generate information to feed into planning for a national scale-up of the facility and community based intervention package.

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