26 August 2023, Zanzibar, Tanzania: Amref Health Africa Tanzania, in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Zanzibar and Absa Bank, has today conducted the “Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging” (Walk-Jog-Run) initiative to support medical equipment and supplies for safe delivery in Zanzibar as part of the second phase of the “Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging” Initiative. Themed ‘Support Medical Equipment and Supplies for Safe Delivery’, the initiative was graced by the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, His Excellency Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi.
Over 2000 participants from different sectors, including the media, corporates, diplomatic corps, government institutions, development partners and other actor covered a distance of ten and five kilometers that started at Butros Kiembe Samaki and ended at Maisara Ground Zanzibar. The event’s core mission is to create awareness about the existing gaps in the health sector and raise funds to support government’s efforts in ensuring availability of sufficient medical equipment and supplies for safe delivery in Zanzibar.
His Excellency, President Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, while speaking at the event, commended Amref Health Africa in Tanzania for designing and steering this unique initiative and urged more individuals and organizations to contribute towards the cause. He emphasized the importance of this contribution in saving lives of mothers and newborns, thereby reducing preventable maternal deaths in the country. He encouraged all Tanzanians, event participants and diaspora communities to join the campaign and continuously support the initiative, and participate in future Wogging events in Zanzibar.
“Deaths resulting from labor-related complications directly impacts pregnant mothers and their newborns – unfortunately, these cases are still quite high in Zanzibar, with an average of 28 deaths per 1,000 babies born. Mother and child health service provision within our institutions is still a cause for national concern, which leads to these high mortality rates – largely attributed to inadequate medical equipment, supplies, and personnel”, said H.E. Dr.
Hussein Ali Mwinyi. “I have been informed, with this initiative, ‘Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging’ a total of 28 health centers will to get medical equipment, which is equivalent of 40.5% of all centers that provide mother and child care in Zanzibar. This is a great milestone and I encourage more partners to come on board and support the remaining facilities to help significantly reduce the rate of child mortality.”
Dr. Florence Temu, the Country Director of Amref Health Africa Tanzania, expressed gratitude to all partners and friends who have contributed to the success of the Uzazi ni Maisha initiative. “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the government of Zanzibar and all our partners for their unwavering support of this initiative. In just two years, the initiative has raised TZS 592,000,000 million to provide medical equipment and supplies for safe deliveries in Zanzibar, with pledges totaling TZS 883,000,000 million. These resources are crucial in ensuring that mothers have access to high-quality care during childbirth, ultimately reducing the risk of preventable maternal deaths,” she stated. “Amref Health Africa Tanzania and the Ministry of Health Zanzibar are fully committed to enhancing safe delivery and maternal health, while also working towards reducing maternal and child mortality rates in Zanzibar’s healthcare facilities.”
The Absa Bank’s Managing Director, Obedi S. Laiser said: “The partnership between Amref and Absa bank is highly valued and the amount contributed by the bank is a continuation of the bank’s efforts to fulfil its corporate social responsibility (CSR). Our contribution reflects the bank’s commitment in working with the community it serves to support the health sector in the area of maternal health which aligns with one of the core pillars of Absa Bank’s CSR policy.”
In his remarks, the UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania, Zlatan Milišić, stated, “We are grateful to be part of this event organized by Amref and the Ministry of Health Zanzibar. The funds raised will be used to purchase medical equipment, improving healthcare and saving lives in Zanzibar. While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. The United Nations is committed to supporting Tanzania and Zanzibar in this vital cause. Together, we can make a difference and provide better health and care for mothers and newborns.
The Uzazi ni Maisha Wogging initiative, which spans three years (2022-2024), has set a target of collecting at least one billion Tanzanian shillings in cash, in-kind donations, and pledges to support the medical equipment and supplies. The programme will remain open for one year, actively engaging various supporters until the target is achieved. Donations can be made through the Vodacom Lipa number 5529421 or the Wogging donation portal at https://wogging.amref.org/.
Special thanks from Amref Health Africa in Tanzania to; Absa Bank, M & D Chemical & Surgical Ltd,Tanzania Ports Authority, NMB Bank, ITV/ Radio One, Swahili Sweatshop, Dalberg Tanzania, Siemens Healthcare LLC, CRDB Bank and everyone else who made the 2023 event a success.
About Amref Health Africa in Tanzania
With the focus to reach and work with the most vulnerable African communities to achieve lasting health change, Amref Health Africa has been active in Tanzania since 1957 and in 1987 the country office was established in Dar es Salaam. Since then, Amref Health Africa in Tanzania has been among the major supporters of the Government of Tanzania’s health care initiatives particularly the Ministry of Health, and President Office Region Authority and Local Government. Amref has supported the development of a number of national health policies, strategies, and guidelines for equitable health service delivery.
Amref Health Africa in Tanzania’s projects respond to national health priorities and sustainable development goals (SDGs) in addressing the needs of underserved communities – mostly women and children. We work to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of health services by strengthening health systems, improving access to services, advocating stronger community health systems, and influencing health policies. Amref Health Africa in Tanzania remains a strong supporter of the Universal Health Coverage Agenda.
Learn more about Amref Health Africa through www.amref.org
Eliminatha Paschal; Head of Communication & Partnerships
Amref Health Africa in Tanzania Email: [email protected]