Wakina mama wajawazito na watoto wa wilayani Sengerema wamefarijika baada ya kujionea manufaa ya mradi wa kutokomeza vifo vya akina mama hao na watoto wachanga ukiendelea vizuri na kuleta mabadiliko makubwa katika jamii yao inayowazunguka,Mradi huo ambao ulizinduliwa mwaka jana wilayani humo chini ya ufadhili wa taasisi ya Vodacom Tanzania Foundation kwa kushirikiana na mashirika ya kimataifa ya USAID, Path Finder na Touch Foundation unazidi kuleta mafanikio makubwa katika wilya hiyo.
Moja ya mafanikio makubwa ambayo yamepatikana kupitia mradi huu ni kuokoa maisha ya wanawake wajawazito na watoto wachanga wapatao 580pia umewezesha mafunzo kwa wahudumu wa Afya wa ngazi ya Jamii wanaopita kila kaya kutoa elimu, ili kubadili mitazamo hasi ya baadhi ya akina mama kutofika kwenye vituo vya afya kupatiwa huduma za uzazi na akina mama zaidi ya 6,000 wamepatiwa elimu hii.
Wafadhili wa mradi huu wamekuwa wakigharamia mafunzo kwa wahudumu wa afya na usafiri wa akina mama wajawazito wanaokaribia kujifungua kuwawahisha kwenye vituo vya afya kupata matibabu ya haraka pindi panapohitajika msaada ambapo wameingia mkataba maalumu na madereva wa teksi katika kufanikisha mradi huu ambao hutoa huduma hii kwa haraka na kulipwa kupitia huduma ya M-Pesa.
Mkazi wa Sengerema Mwanza Kwangu Jackson, ambaye ni mmoja wa wanawake walionufaika akiongea kwa niaba ya wanufaika wa mradi aliupongeza mradi huu na kusema ni mkombozi kwa akina mama wengi na ulimsaidia alipokuwa mjamzito na kwenye hali ya uchungu. Alipopiga simu aliweza kusaidiwa mara moja na amejifungua salama kabisa na anatoa wito kwa wanawake wengine wengi zaidi kujitokeza kunufaika na huduma hii.
“Kipindi changu cha ujauzito kiligubikwa na changamoto mbalimbali ,ulipofikisha miezi 8 nilianza kusikia maumivu makali kwenye kiuno na nilitembea umbali wa kilometa 2 hadi kituo cha afya ambapo mhudumu aligundua kuwa nilitakiwa kujifungua kwa njia ya operesheni na kulazimika kunihamishia katika hospitali ya wilaya iliyopo umbali wa Kilometa 55 ambapo nilisafirishwa na teksi iliyopo chini ya mradi huu ambayo ilitumia muda wa masaa 2 kufika hospitalini hapo ambapo niliweza kujifungua salama.Bila huduma hii ningepoteza maisha yangu na mtoto”.Alisema.
Akiongea wakati wa uzinduzi wa mradi huu,Naibu Waziri wa Afya,Maendeleo ya Jamii,Jinsia,Wazee na Watoto,Dk.Hamis Kingwangalla,aliwapongeza wadau wote walioufanikisha na kuwa unaenda sambamba na malengo ya serikali ya kutokomeza matukio ya vifo vya wanawake wajawazito na watoto wachanga nchini.
Naye Mkurugenzi wa Mawasiliano na Uhusiano wa Vodacom Tanzania,Rosalynn Mworia,alisema mfuko wa kusaidia jamii wa kampuni hiyo pamoja na kampuni kwa ujumla inajivunia kuona mafanikio makubwa yanapatikana katika kipindi kifupi cha mradi huu wenye lengo la kuunga mkono jitihada za serikali za kuboresha sekta ya afya nchini na adhma ya kutokomeza vifo vya akina mama wajawazito na watoto wachanga nchini.
“Mradi huu ambao unajulikana kama”MOYO” awamu ya pili umelenga kuunga mkono jitihada za serikali za kuboresha sekta ya afya nchini na adhma ya kutokomeza vifo vya akina mama wajawazito na watoto wachanga nchini pia umelenga kurejesha fadhila kwa wateja wetu, tutagharamia usafiri wa akina mama wajawazito kupitia huduma ya M-Pesa kama ambavyo ilikuwa kwenye awamu ya kwanza ya mradi ili waweze kufika kwenye vituo vya afya kupata matibabu haraka“,Alisema.
Vodacom Foundation’s maternal health project benefits 6,000 women
· Saves lives of hundreds of mothers and infants
Over the past few years, Vodacom Tanzania Foundation has committed itself to complement government’s efforts in mobilizing maternal health with the aim to reduce mortality rate in the most affected regions of Tanzania.
To implement this, earlier last year Vodacom Tanzania Foundation in collaboration with Vodafone, USAID, Touch Foundation and Pathfinder International launched a project dubbed Mobilizing Maternal Health in Tanzania, aiming to reach pregnant women in Sengerema and Shinyanga.
The project aims to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Tanzania through a combination of health system improvements and innovative mobile solutions by facilitating transport to pregnant women in emergency situations.
The programme also entails training community health workers, improve emergency obstetric care services, and facilitate treatments and rehabilitation of women with obstetric fistula at the Dar es Salaam based – Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT).
The project has registered abundant success since its launch in March last year as it has saved lives of 580 pregnant women and infants and facilitated training of community health workers. The community health workers have managed to create awareness amongst 6,000 pregnant women on the importance of attending clinics thus saving more lives.
Vodacom Tanzania Foundation has been facilitating transport to help out pregnant women, mothers and their infants reach health care facilities in time by paying local taxi drivers (through M-Pesa) to get the women safely to hospitals. The taxi drivers used in this programme are already connected to a mobile application that allows pregnant women to call them 24/7 once there is an urgency to get to a health facility.
Vodacom Tanzania Corporate Affairs Chief Officer, Rosalynn Mworia explains that the taxi drivers are trained to receive the emergency calls made by the expectant mothers 24/7 and drive them to a nearest health facility.
Giving an account of her experience, one of the beneficiaries of the project, Kwangu Jackson, a resident of Sengerema, Mwanza region said the programme has been very helpful to several pregnant women and has as well helped her when she was in labor as she immediately received transport after making the call.
“When I was 8 months pregnant I experienced excruciating pains on my waist and had to walk 2 kilometres to get to a health care facility where I was told I needed a C-Section so they had to transfer me to a district hospital which is 55 kilometres away, so from this point I was transferred with a taxi which is under this programme and took us 2 hours to the hospital and managed to have a safe C-Section,” she explained, adding that without this programme she would have probably lost her life as well as the baby’s.
Rehema Robert, another beneficiary of the project said she experienced complications during her pregnancy and if she wasn’t immediately transfer to the district hospital through the taxi under this programme she would have lost her life and the baby’s.
“During the 38th week of my pregnancy I experience antepartum hemorrhage and when I went to nearest health facility, the health workers called a taxi which rushed me to the district hospital and managed to deliver my baby safely,” she said.
“Antepartum hemorrhage can be fatal to the mother and the child, so if I hadn’t received transport in time, I wouldn’t make it and neither would my baby,” she added.
She added that through the programme they have also received trainings while attending clinics including how to tell unusual and dangerous symptoms during pregnancy.
Speaking at the launch of Moyo project phase 2 earlier last year, Deputy Minister for Health, Social Welfare, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Hamisi Kigwangala said, “the government is pleased to collaborate with stakeholders such as Vodacom Foundation who work towards addressing challenges facing our health sector.”
Vodacom Tanzania Chief of Corporate Affairs, Rosalynn Mworia said the programme which is geared to save lives of mothers and infants is a way of Vodacom showing their appreciation to their customers and Tanzanians in general.
“This programme is also complementing government’s efforts to reduce maternal deaths and improving the health sector by providing maternal health education to expectant mothers,” said Mworia.
Vodacom Tanzania Foundation pledges to continue to work hand in hand with the government to address challenges facing the health sector by being creative in applying technology to make life better for Tanzanians through its various products including M-Pesa.