The Tanzania Times Newspaper
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Ireland builds Maternity Ward in Kigoma as Norway Donates Two Ambulances

The Embassy of Ireland and the United Nations have stepped in to assist health and medical services in Kigoma, the Western Region of Tanzania.

The delegation handed over a newly constructed and equipped maternity ward at Kigondo Dispensary and two ambulances to the people of Kigoma.

Regional Commissioner, Thobias Andengenye officially received the facilities.

The Two ambulances were donated by World Health Organization Tanzania with funding from the Norwegian Embassy.

The Kigondo Dispensary Maternity Ward is one of 17 maternity wards, two youth friendly facilities and one reproductive and child health clinic constructed under the Ujana Wangu Nguvu Yangu, ‘My Youth, My Power’ Project.

The project is funded by Ireland and implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). In the context of the United Nations ‘Delivering as One’, the project is implemented within the United Nations Kigoma Joint Programme.

The Kigondo Dispensary Maternity Ward, prenatal and labour rooms and nursing station enhance the capacity of the Kigondo Dispensary, which annually serves approximately 6,000 people with over 400 deliveries.

The two ambulances, donated by WHO, enable transportation for medical referrals and offer access to urgent medical services, especially assisting populations in rural areas.

“Quality maternal and child health services are essential to achieve positive health outcomes for women and their families,” said Ambassador of Ireland, Mary O’Neil.

“We are pleased to support investment in Tanzania’s health system, especially in reproductive health, which in turn supports women and adolescent empowerment, enabling them to live fuller, healthier lives and contribute to their communities.”

Kasulu is the most populous town in Kigoma, with a population of over 537,000.

Kasulu district hosts Nyarugusu refugee camp, which as of December 2022 hosted nearly 130,000 people.

The Ujana Wangu Nguvu Yangu Project and the UN Kigoma Joint Program aim to support both refugees and host communities.

“I am pleased to reaffirm the UN’s unwavering commitment to support the Kigoma Region through the Kigoma Joint Programme,” said United Nations Population Fund Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania, Mark Bryan Schreiner.

While the 2022 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey indicates that 93.5 per cent of women in Kigoma give birth at a health facility and 96 per cent of deliveries are assisted by skilled personnel; just over 60 per cent receive 4+ antenatal care visits, and just fewer than 80 per cent receive antenatal care from a skilled provider.

The Ujana Wangu Nguvu Yangu, ‘My Youth, My Power’ project (2018-2023) is generously funded by Ireland.

The project has provided extensive capacity building for hundreds of Health Care Workers, and enabled tens of thousands of people in Kigoma to realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

However, more than 680,000 young people living in Kigoma face formidable challenges to maintain their health, further their education, and access information and resources to make informed reproductive health decisions.