Women face shortage of reproductive health care in rural Tanzania

By Noah Lusekelo and Mbuya Godfriend

In spite of government efforts to eradicate mother and child mortality during birth, women in rural areas continue to face barriers in regards to inaccessibility to public health care systems.

According to the general doctor of Arusha region, Frida Mokiti, “the problem is very big in Longido and Ngorongoro districts where a lot of women and children are dying during birth because they used go to witch doctors because of a lack of proper hospitals in such areas and poor infrastructure to access the hospital,” he said.

Miss Mokiti, in reference to a meeting conducted in August 2013 in Arusha which aimed to discuss primary health care, said that the government and other stake holders need to address the problem in order to help women in the country.

Selemani Shao, who is the resident of Mwanza, when speaking with our reporter over the phone, said that the problem is very big in the nation, especially in rural areas where by a lot of women and children are dying due to lack of health services.

“The government should work hard to provide education to society on the importance of women giving birth in the hospital rather than going to the witch doctors in order to reduce death of women and children during the birth period,” he said.

Lazaro Devota, a student at Muhimbili University in  Dar es Salaam, said that “the problem is very large in the country because of issues women and children death rates have been reported several time but the government is not working enough on increasing an effort to help people in rural areas.”

Devota added that there is a need for further efforts to make sure that there is health control in rural areas especially for women because they face a lot of health problems during pregnant period and birth period.

According to LHRC’S 2012 human rights report, millions of people in rural areas do not access health facilities due to unimaginable shortages of health facilities in a rural set up.

According to the Tanzanian Constitution, everyone has a right to have access to health care services including reproductive health care, sufficient food and water. Statistics according to National Audit Office show that about 9000 die each year because of maternal complications while 25,000 women become disabled.

Noah believes in advocating for children’s right to education and believes that parents are responsible for ensuring this right is recognized. As a journalist, Noah hopes to become the voice of the society and to be an advisor of human rights.

Godfriend is a student at St. Augustine University of Tanzania. In the past, he has produced radio programs that focus on the rights of disabled people. His dream is to serve society by bringing light to human rights abuses.

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