Why reducing delays in treatment can save mothers lives

IHI Research Scientist Josephine Shabani [second-left] presents findings of a study on Maternal Mortality in Tanzania at the PO-RALG ministry. PHOTO/IHIcoms
March 28, 2019
Why reducing delays in treatment can save mothers lives

IHI and partner institution scientists who participated in a study dubbed: “Maternal mortality in urban and rural Tanzania” have urged policy makers to tackle delays at health facilities to save mothers lives. IHI Research Scientist Josephine Shabani sounded the call when presenting today in Dodoma findings of their study before members of the Health Services Department in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government – PO-RALG) who were led by their director, Dr. Ntuli Kapologwe.

“Policy makers need to consider tackling the delay in seeking care and the delay upon arrival and receiving treatment,” she said, noting that such delays contribute to mothers’ deaths in both urban and rural areas. The study, which falls in the social determinants and health system efficiency research category, was conducted for 9 months from November 2017 to April 2018 – by four researchers: Ms. Shabani, Ms. Gemma Todd, the late Dr. Godfrey Mbaruku (all from IHI) and Dr. Anna Nswilla from PO-RALG).

The researchers used the 2015/16 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS) and the 2012 National Census to provide an overview of maternal mortalities. The research was conducted with funding from the Internal Center for Growth (IGC) in response to the fact that maternal mortality rates in Tanzania had remained stubbornly high over the last decade, at around 500 per 100,000 live births, despite interventions. It sought to analyze the entire chain – from the time mothers seeking care to delivery – with a view to understand where bottlenecks and delays occurred as well as their causes. #