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Gradian & White Ribbon Alliance Support Tanzania’s New Maternal Health Initiative

Oct 6, 2017

Last Friday, at a ceremony hosted by the Tanzanian Government, we were proud to team up with KAS Medics (Gradian’s local distribution partner) and White Ribbon Alliance Tanzania (WRATZ) to formally hand over our Universal Anaesthesia Machine (UAM) to the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children as part of a new initiative to reduce maternal and newborn mortality.

Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya demonstrates the UAM for media and the Hon. Minister of Health

The initiative – inspired in large part by WRATZ’s “Zero Tolerance to Maternal Death” advocacy campaign – will upgrade hundreds of health centers to be able to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC) – a key intervention for averting death during childbirth. Given anesthesia’s central role in CEmONC – it’s necessary to perform C-section surgery, for instance – the Government of Tanzania has identified Gradian as a key partner in its new initiative.

Friday’s hand-over ceremony was chaired by Hon. Health Minister Ms. Ummy Mwalimu, who was joined by ministry colleagues, including Permanent Secretary Dr. Mpoki Ulisubisya and Senior Program Officer Dr. Ahmed Makuwani; representatives from WRATZ; KAS Medics; and a range of local media outlets. Dr. Mpoki – an anesthesiologist who also heads Tanzania’s anesthesia society – provided attendees with an overview of the UAM and its value in the Tanzanian setting, noting, “We are happy to receive this machine in improving the provision of theatre services to our hospitals.”

According to the Hon. Minister,

The Universal Anaesthesia Machine donated by Gradian Health from the United States of America (USA) is an initiative by the government and development partners in ensuring women and children deaths are reduced to achieve the goal sustainable development.

The donated UAM will be placed at a health center in Mbeya region, where anesthesia providers will also receive a specialized training course focused on pediatric and obstetric anesthesia. See below to watch a video of the ceremony, and click here for more coverage from the Tanzanian Daily News.