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CALL: Emulate Ifakara’s newborn care service model at Temeke hospital

Oct. 4, 2021
CALL: Emulate Ifakara’s newborn care service model at Temeke hospital
The Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Leonard Subi (center) looks at equipment installed in a Neonatal Care Services facility built by Ifakara at the Temeke Regional Referral Hospital, Dar es Salaam on Sunday October 3rd 2021. Looking on are (from right): Ifakara Chief Executive Director, Dr. Honorati Masanja and Temeke hospital's Children Programs Head, Dr. Felix Bundala. PHOTO | IFAKARA/Coms

The Director of Hospital Services, Dr. Leonard Subi, has called on all referral and district hospitals in the country to borrow a leaf from Ifakara Health Institute’s Neonatal Care Facility built under the NEST 360 program at the Temeke Regional Referral Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

Dr. Subi issued the call on Sunday, October 3rd 2021 during his official tour of the facility to witness operations of the NEST program, which is being implemented by Ifakara in collaboration with Muhimbili National Hospital and the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.

He said about 50% of infant deaths under the age of five occurred at less than 28 days and among those, from 70% to 80% occurred within the first 7 days. “This project or service that you have been able to provide at the Temeke Regional Referral Hospital should be emulated by all regional referral hospitals and district hospitals," he stressed.

Briefing Dr. Subi about the program, Ifakara Chief Executive Director and NEST Principal Investigator, Dr. Honorati Masanja, said the four-year program would have been implemented for four years, but due to the COVID-19, its first phase would last five years, with all phases scheduled to be completed in 2030.

Dr. Masanja explained that NEST was being implemented in all five government hospitals in Dar es Salaam, namely Temeke, Amana, Mwananyamala, Muhimbili and Mloganzila. Plans to take the program to META hospital in Mbeya and the KCMC hospital in Moshi were underway.

He thanked the government for supporting Ifakara and partners in the implementation of NEST activities, promising that the program would support an empowerment program, targeting the philosophy degree as the highest level, for staff working at hospitals where NEST operates.

NEST project leader Donat Shamba said in telephone interview that Dar es Salaam was selected as the study site for the program’s first phase due to the higher numbers of deliveries, something that would potentially help them to determine scalability of the program.

About NEST 360
Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST 360) is a global consortium committed to ensuring that every hospital in Africa can deliver life-saving care for small and sick newborns. The program is an evidence-based model for sustainable health systems change to close the gaps in technology, markets, and human resources for implementation of quality hospital-based newborn care at national scale.

In Tanzania, the program works with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children to improve the quality of comprehensive newborn care units as stipulated in the National guideline for neonatal care and establishment of neonatal care units.

Phase One of the program started in four tertiary hospitals (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre hospital, Mbeya Zonal Referral hospital and Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH Upanga), Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH Mloganzila) and three regional referral hospitals in Dar es Salaam (Mwananyamala, Amana and Temeke Hospitals). The tertiary hospitals will be the ‘learning hubs’ to ensure mentorship and supportive supervision within the selected regions. Learn more about the program here.