How Tanzanian Midwives Pushed Their Government to Do More

I always find it inspiring to hear stories about how people in developing nations take the initiative to help themselves — and succeed.

Recently five Tanzanian midwives paired up with a doctor to make a short film highlighting “the dire conditions of maternal health care in the country,” inspiring the government to double the number of midwives throughout Tanzania.

The 10-minute film, made by midwives trained in participatory film-making, looks at “the appalling conditions in which women have to give birth” in Tanzania and incited government action on maternal health care after it was screened before the Minister of Health.

This is especially vital considering the country’s statistics in terms of pregnancy-related deaths and health problems:

In Tanzania, approximately 8,000 women die every year due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 57 percent of women give birth at home, estimates the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “While the country had achieved a 30 percent reduction in child mortality and a 20 percent decrease in newborn deaths in the past five years, infant mortality remained high at nearly 10 deaths per 1,000 live births,” writes the humanitarian news agency IRIN. “Close to one-quarter of all births are unplanned and 40 percent of women remain in dire need of reproductive health services.”

Here is the video that instigated action:

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Explore posts in the same categories: Africa, Health and Healthcare Issues, Women

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