Story of Change: Enhancing the Provision of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Services

For the past four years Sibaba Kiseja, 56, has been working as a Village Executive Officer for Habiya Village in the Simiyu region of Tanzania. He has been very instrumental in ensuring his village members are aware of the health services accessible while advocating and working closely with other leaders to improve the provision of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) services. His village is among the ones benefiting through the Uzazi Uzima project interventions aimed at improving the provision of RMNCAH services. 

Sibaba Kiseja, 56, a Village Executive Officer for Habiya Village in the Simiyu region of Tanzania

Habiya Dispensary in Itilima district is among the facilities which benefited from construction of a maternity ward, renovation of a youth-friendly corner and construction of WASH infrastructure, all of which are now fully working to serve the entire community. 

“The construction of a maternity ward has been very beneficial for improving the delivery of services to pregnant women here in our village. This maternity ward has helped a number of mothers who used to walk more than 15 kilometres in search for maternity services. It was even more challenging since they could not afford transport and other associated costs,” Sibaba says. 

Prior to the construction of the maternity ward (pictured above), the health facility had a very small room which was allocated for delivery. This posed a serious challenge when there were more than two clients that needed health services.   

The newly constructed modern maternity ward can accommodate up to four pregnant women at one time, unlike the previous ward which was able to only accommodate one to two patients. “The new ward is a huge relief to both expectant mothers, health care providers and the community at large,” says Sibaba.  

Currently, Habiya dispensary manages to accommodate about 58 deliveries per month due to the improved infrastructure, which is a 29% increase compared to July to December 2017. Sibaba believes that with the improved environment for provision of RMNCAH services more women will be attracted to use available services, and community members will be motivated to escort pregnant women in need of ANC services.