UCalgary partnership helps improve childbirth safety for moms and babies in Tanzania

While experts in many countries such as Canada are cautioning against the rising caesarean (C-section) delivery rate, increasing the rate of caesarean delivery remains a priority in Africa.

Two-thirds of all global maternal deaths in 2015 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, so efforts to improve the safety of childbirth are urgently needed. For four years, the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) has led a Canadian government-funded maternal health partnership initiative in rural Tanzania. Known locally as Mama na Mtoto (mother and baby in Swahili), the project provides on-the-ground clinical, education and research support to help mothers and babies.

One element of the initiative involved constructing and equipping a much-needed operating room facility with C-section capabilities in a very remote community. C-sections are now possible at this new site and can make a real difference to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, says Dr. Dismas Matovelo, MD, Mama na Mtoto research lead and obstetrician in Mwanza, Tanzania at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences. 

“Having a C-section performed at Mbarika is a tremendous change and, with time, so many lives will be saved,” he says.

As of mid-April, five C-sections had already been conducted.


mai 14, 2019


Mike Fisher, University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine


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