Improving Maternal and Infant Care (IMIC) - Ukerewe District

Tanzania

All activities are done under the leadership of the Ukerewe District Health Council, which operates the Nansio District Hospital, 3 Health Centres and 22 Dispensaries in Ukara and Ukerewe Islands. Ukerewe is Africa’s largest inland island, with an area of approximately 530 km², entire population around 300,000. And is found in the Southeastern part of Lake Victoria. Nansio is the largest town, and the Nansio District Hospital is the only hospital serving the island. Nansio is also a port of entry for passenger and freight shipping services from Mwanza.

The expected results of the IMIC Project are reduced maternal and newborn deaths and HIV+ transmission from mother to child in the project's catchment areas (Ukerewe and Ukara Islands). This will be achieved through strengthening capacity building in maternal and newborn health care, so that mothers and newborns have access to health care services to minimize mortality and morbidity. The Project strategy is to improve access to quality maternal and newborn healthcare services with the aim of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in Ukerewe District in Tanzania. These objectives aim to align with the long-term goals for health care delivery articulated by the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and also align with CACHA’s mission to improve population health in remote African communities. Improving the health of mothers and newborns and reducing the number of preventable deaths are priorities identified by both the Canadian and the Tanzanian governments. Canada’s commitment to maternal and infant health is reflected in its commitment to support the Muskoka Initiative.

With the aim of contributing to the Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6, the Government of Tanzania developed the Health Sector Strategic Plan III (HSSP III) that identifies the reduction of child and maternal health. The IMIC project has been designed to scale-up appropriate maternal health care programs by enhancing skills of Medical Officers, Nurses, Midwifes and other health care providers. A comprehensive training, mentoring, coaching and monitoring plan is being implemented to ensure that Health Professionals (Medical Officers, Nurses and Midwifes), TBAs and CHWs have the required knowledge and competencies to provide effective maternal and newborn care. It provides skills enhancement training of health care workers in maternal and newborns health care delivery (antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care). In addition, the IMIC Project aims to increase the capacities of TBAs and CHWs to refer and enroll pregnant women and newborns in dispensaries, health centres and the Nansio hospital. This will be achieved with through training sessions of TBAs and CHWs, and facilitating community outreach and education activities in the catchment areas of all government health facilities. The project will address some of these problems through an integrated and collaborative approach at the health service and community level. The approach and methodology were developed by the two project partners namely the Ukerewe District Health Council and CACHA taking into account the specific rural context, responding to the priority needs of the target population and incorporating best practices at government facilities in collaboration with communities.

Tanzania

About

The IMIC Project is implemented in Tanzania in the Ukerewe District, more specifically in Ukerewe and Ukara Islands, under the leadership of the Ukerewe District Health Council, which operates the Nansio District Hospital, 3 Health Centres and 22 Dispensaries. The IMIC project has been designed to scale-up appropriate maternal health care programs by enhancing skills of Medical Officers, Nurses, Midwifes and other health care providers. A comprehensive training, mentoring, coaching and monitoring strategy is being implemented to ensure that Medical Officers, Nurses and Midwifes have the required knowledge and competencies to provide effective maternal and newborn care in health care delivery (antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care). In addition, the IMIC Project aims to increase the capacities of TBAs and CHWs to refer and enroll pregnant women and newborns in dispensaries, health centres and the Nansio hospital.

This will be achieved with through training sessions of TBAs and CHWs, and facilitating community outreach and education activities in the catchment areas of all government health facilities. The Project will address some of these problems through an integrated and collaborative approach at the health service and community level. The approach and methodology were developed by the two project partners namely the Ukerewe District Health Council and CACHA taking into account the specific rural context, responding to the priority needs of the target population and incorporating best practices at government facilities in collaboration with communities. The project will address some of these problems through an integrated and collaborative approach at the health service and community level. The aim is to increase the number of women (through outreach activities) accessing higher quality services (through training of health care workers) during Antenatal care visits to monitor pregnancies, carry out HIV tests and eventually enroll mothers in PMTCT program delivery to prevent hemorrhage and sepsis for the mother, and asphyxia and birth trauma to the newborn. Postpartum care visits will consist to administer child vaccinations, treat sick infants and educate mothers on management of common conditions associated with infant mortality using IMIC strategies.

Monitoring and evaluation is an integral part of the successful implementation of this project. This will be achieved through the information collected and analyzed for performance measurement purposes will contribute to a process of continuous improvement in project performance. Through highlighting challenges and problem as well as successes, the performance review section of the annual report will prompt discussions about the relative merits of project strategies and interventions and may lead to recommendations to alter the approach detailed in this implementation plan. During the early months of the project, emphasis has been placed on gathering baseline data for the performance indicators to establish the starting point from which progress can be measured. Performance monitoring activities at the output and immediate outcome levels are being undertaken on a semi-annual and an annual basis, while measures at the intermediate outcome level will be assessed at the end of the project. This will generate a flow of performance information that will be useful for decision making during the year and for accountability and work planning purposes at the end of every fiscal year. The annual project progress report and Project Steering Committee meeting will provide a focus for performance measurement and work planning.