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Tanzanian interview

Integrated Maternal and Newborn Care

Evaluating integrated care for HIV positive and negative mothers and infants.

Tanzanian counseling session

Learning Agenda Project for CHWS

Helping the government of Tanzania develop its national cadre of community health workers.

Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health

Maternal, newborn and child mortality is steadily declining in Tanzania thanks to key Government-backed efforts like sustained high coverage of routine under-five immunization and improved access to care for both HIV-positive and HIV-negative mothers, infants and children.

Yet with about 390 children under-five dying every day of mainly preventable and treatable conditions, and continued high rates of maternal mortality, more efforts are needed scale-up lifesaving interventions. Newborn deaths account for about one-third of all child deaths. These are inextricably linked to the health of the mother during pregnancy and to the conditions of delivery and newborn care.

Key Reasons for Health Challenges

  • Critical shortage of skilled health providers
  • Lack of basic equipment
  • Long distances to facilities
  • Home deliveries without well-trained attendant
  • Weak referral system
  • Low availability of emergency obstetric and newborn care services
  • High rate of mothers dropping out of HIV care

Community-Based Solutions

Community health workers can effectively deliver a wide range of essential health services such as immunization, health education and management of uncomplicated childhood illnesses.  

Our team works with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and its Task Force on Community Health Workers to understand other community health worker programs and develop a more harmonized, community-based approach to preventive care for mothers and infants.

We are also working with collaborators to analyze data on HIV-positive mothers and children lost to follow-up while in care of the National AIDS Control Program or in care of organizations supported by PEPFAR. Our findings will contribute to the development of integrated facility-community implementation strategies to improve retention and scale-up community-based programs for HIV-positive patients.