In a bid to support of the government’s goal to reduce maternal and infant deaths by cutting down maternal mortality ratio to 292 per 100,000 live births from the current 556, Vodacom Tanzania Foundation through its employee engagement program Pamoja na Vodacom partnered with Doris Mollel Foundation have donated medical equipment to the premature unit at Dodoma Referral Hospital in support of the life of pre-term babies.
The donation worth TZS 25 million ($10,915) was received by Minister of Health, Community, Gender, Seniors and Children, Ummy Mwalimu, Minister of Minerals Angela Kairuki, and she was accompanied by Antony Mavunde the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth and the Disabled and Dodoma RC Dr. Binilith Mahenge.
According to a statement from Vodacom, the donation will be channeled towards purchasing of critical lifesaving equipment such as oxygen kits that will help pre -mature babies with breathing, heaters for keeping the newborns warm, machines for checking and monitoring blood sugar, and gowns that will prevent the spread of infections from mother to child.
Similar donations have been done to hospitals and health centers in various parts of the country all in efforts to save lives of preemies in Tanzania.
Speaking during the hand over event, Vodacom’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Rosalynn Mworia said, “Vodacom is committed to reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality rates and supports government efforts to improve the delivery of health services. We hope our donation will go a long way towards ensuring the survival of more women and children.”
Echoing her sentiments, Hon. Ummy Mwalimu said, “This initiative comes at the right time as the government is embarking on a campaign to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in Tanzania. We would like to thank the Vodacom Tanzania Foundation and Doris Mollel Foundation for supporting the country to address these challenges.” The equipment will play a crucial role in curbing complications that pre-mature babies encounter especially in the first four weeks of their lives.”
She called on health workers to ensure proper use of the equipment to save the lives of pre-mature babies saying, “I implore the health workers at Dodoma Referral Hospital to use these equipment. Do not let the machines gather dust, they are meant to save lives.”
Also present was the Dodoma Regional Commissioner Binilith Mahenge who said that the fight against infant deaths in Tanzania is a matter of collective responsibility. “ This donation is a great show of solidarity to the ongoing campaign, Jiongeze – Tuwavushe Salama and it aligns with the oath I took, together with other Regional Commissioners, where we promised to work towards the reduction of maternal and neo-natal mortality in Tanzania as per the governments strategic plan under the Ministry of Health.” he said.
On their part, Hon Angela Kariuki, and Hon. Antony Mavunde, applauded Vodacom Tanzania Foundation to continue in their endeavor to assist women and girls across the country to improve their health, access better education and create new enterprises.