Habiya village is one of villages where women encountered challenges pertaining childbirth. These challenges included limited healthcare services for pregnant women and inadequate equipment which derived to the loss of lives of women in some instances. The same situation has been experienced in the other regions and for that Maternal Mortality rate is still high. 

Habiya village in Itilima District struggled with many of the same challenges as other villages in rural areas of Tanzania. Most of the available healthcare centers are far from the residential areas and some with limited infrastructures. Kabula Ntunga is lucky enough to live close to the only health center in the village that unfortunately isn’t in a very good condition and has only one healthcare worker. 

The health center with proper services was far away (more than 40 km), so many people’s lives are in danger whenever they encounter simple illness or infection. The situation is even more critical to women who have given birth in difficult conditions, endangering themselves and their children’s lives. Kabula nearly lost her life and her daughter’s life Minza when she gave birth, she said “In the past it was very difficult for us to receive good health services, due to deficiency in healthcare provision”, she added “We used to receive medical services under a tree”. 

Kabula recalls that it was around 4am when she started to feel labor pain hence her husband took a bicycle the only transport they had to take her to the health center. “It was on that day that I felt like my water broke at night, I was taken to the hospital but once I reached there, we found there is no medical care, so I gave birth outside the health center”. She said 

Kabula remember that her fellow villagers played a great role in helping her and shortly some called the doctors who lived 2 km from the health center, the doctor came and attended her well and saved her life. 

There is a huge improvement in Habiya village now since Amref Health Africa contributes in improving health care access in the village. Villagers are enjoying services due to the improvement of the health center including Kabula who recently gave birth to another child. She witnesses the changes at the health center, where now she gave birth in a new maternal building constructed by Amref with full maternal medical infrastructure.

Kabula Ntunga. Image ©Adrian Mgaya for Amref Health Africa Tanzania.

She said with excitement that “now we do attend maternal clinics and we’re treated well. When a woman is 2-months pregnant, she is given a mosquito net. And once you give birth, you receive another mosquito net. In the past the situation was different. Honestly, things have changed for good. 

“We are thankful to Amref for building this hospital. We are receiving quality services, because there are plenty of equipment as well such as hospital beds which weren’t enough before. We give birth without being congested in one bed. The situation has really improved”. She concluded with a smile on her face.

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