Unlike in the United States and other developed countries, many countries in Africa don’t have access to adequate health care. Without access to adequate health care, large numbers of women and children find their health compromised, and may even die. Many African women die during childbirth because they go into labor and end up having to give birth at locations outside of a hospital.
In Tanzania, 94% of women seek regular prenatal care, yet only 50% of Tanzanian women are able to make it to hospitals upon going into labor. This is one problem that leads to massive amounts of maternal and child deaths.
Another problem that exists in Tanzania is the shortage of health care professionals. In the United States, the ratio of doctors to patients is 1:300; In Tanzania it is 1:25,000. Obviously this is a major problem, but African governments are working to reverse this issue. Programs are being created to train new doctors, which will help in Tanzania’s efforts to reduce the maternal mortality rate by 75%.
Malaria is a deadly disease that is prominent in African countries, and is a top cause of deaths in pregnant women and children under 5. The Tanzanian government has initiated a campaign to raise awareness of this disease and to teach people proper preventative methods.
The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health is an initiative that was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010. The goal in Tanzania is to lower the amount of deaths among women and children. This initiative raises money to reverse this very disturbing problem in Tanzania. The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health strives to fight for more medical centers to be build, so pregnant women won’t have to travel so far when they go into labor. This initiative also teaches women about contraception and makes it available to them.
Tanzania has big plans to lower their maternal and child morality rates. As long as their government continues to invest in a plan, then they should eventually achieve success.