× Home Projects Partners Special Events FAQs Contacts

MEETING: NEST360, healthcare leaders discuss ways to improve newborn care

April 5, 2024 08:00
MEETING: NEST360, healthcare leaders discuss ways to improve newborn care
One of the participants engages in a discussion during the NEST360 Program meeting held in Dar es Salaam. Photo Courtesy of Pamela Sao

On April 5, the NEST360 program, which is implemented by the Ifakara Health Institute and partners, hosted a meeting of key public health stakeholders to evaluate the successes of Phase 1 and lay down the roadmap for Phase 2 implementation of the program.

Attendees included representatives from Regional Health Management Teams (RHMTs), Council Health Management Teams (CHMTs), and other public health stakeholders.

The meeting, held in Dar es Salaam, commenced with an address by Agnes Mgaya, the Regional Reproductive and Child Health Coordinator (RRCHCO) who represented the Dar es Salaam Regional Medical Officer (RMO). Dr. Honorati Masanja, Ifakara’s Chief Executive Director and NEST Country Lead, gave welcoming remarks and outlined the meeting’s objectives and areas of discussion.

Participants engaged in a comprehensive review of Phase 1 achievements and challenges reflecting on the lessons learnt and identifying areas for improvement. The discussion, which was chaired by Dr. Nahya Salim, an Ifakara scientist implementing the NEST360 program, also underscored the need to increase both coverage and quality in Phase 1 sites in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya and Kilimanjaro.

Other agenda items included discussions on Phase 2 objectives and plans tailored for Dar es Salaam, as well as the implementation of the "hub and spoke approach." 

Dr. Robert Tillya, an Ifakara scientist involved in the NEST360 program, presented the dissemination of HFA results, followed by discussions on implementation strategies for NEST360 Phase 2.

The participants also conducted site visits to assess infrastructure requirements, staffing needs, and equipment needs. With over 40 attendees, including key figures such as the District Nursing Officer (DNO), Data Focal Person, and Ministry of Health officials, the meeting successfully identified crucial elements for ensuring sustained progress of the NEST360 program which aims to improve newborn health outcomes in Tanzania.

About NEST360
Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360) is a global consortium committed to reducing newborn deaths by 50% in hospitals, currently conducted in Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and Nigeria. The program is an evidence-based model for sustainable health system change to close the gaps in technology, markets, and human resources for the implementation of quality hospital-based newborn care on a national scale.

In Tanzania, the NEST program works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, to improve the quality of comprehensive newborn care units as stipulated in the National guideline for neonatal care and the establishment of neonatal care units.

Phase I of the program started in late 2019 in three tertiary hospitals i.e., Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH Upanga), Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH Mloganzila) and Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital. Implementation at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) started in February 2022. The three regional referral hospitals in Dar es Salaam i.e., Mwananyamala, Amana and Temeke started implementation in 2020. The tertiary hospitals will be the ‘learning hubs’ to ensure mentorship and supportive supervision within the selected regions.