Making a Difference in Tanzania
Did you know that around half a million women die every year because of pregnancy related complications and that over 90% of these maternal deaths occur in developing countries? Tanzania has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. This is why FedEx supports the maintenance and improvement of a maternity waiting home in Tanzania as part of our CSR activities.
The project is run by action medeor e.V., one of Europe’s largest medical aid organizations, which has been advocating sustainable and improved health care since 1964, especially for people in developing countries. This non-profit organization is headquartered in Germany’s Lower Rhine region. From here, some 10,000 clinics in 140 countries around the world – in Africa, Latin America and Asia – are supplied with medical aid.
The maternity waiting home supported by action medeor and FedEx is part of the Endulen Hospital located in the remote Ngorongoro Conservation area in northern Tanzania. The hospital serves more than 72,000 people, mainly Maasai who live a traditional way of life. Maasai women usually deliver at home with the help of local midwives, the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA’s). These Birth Attendants have been taught by other TBA’s but never received any formal medical training, so when complications occur, they need to rush to a hospital. As you can probably imagine, this emergency care is very often not possible, since the hospital is far and transport and financial means are not quickly available. It was with this need in mind that the maternity waiting home was built in 2010. Today it includes a delivery room, a nurses’ station, sleeping areas for pregnant women and their midwives, as well as facilities for cooking.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be done. Action medeor’s expertise together with FedEx commitment have made possible the installation of a solar panel that will provide an independent electricity source and access to light 24 hours per day. The solar system has recently been shipped by FedEx from Cologne, Germany to Tanzania. Furthermore, medical devices, equipment and furniture will be provided. Currently the maternity waiting home hosts about five to seven deliveries per month. Once better health care services can be provided, around 30 safe deliveries per month are expected. And I can tell you that we´re all very much looking forward to seeing this project and these children grow.