The United Republic of Tanzania launches the sharpened one plan and the RMNCH Score Card to prevent Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality

His Excellency, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania launching the RMNCH Scorecard. His Excellency, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania launching the RMNCH Scorecard.

Prioritise! Invest! Deliver Faster!” was the call made to all present during the presidential launch of the Tanzania Sharpened One Plan and the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) Score Card on 15th May 2014. His Excellency, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania was the guest of honor in the well-attended event held in Dar es Salaam.

Others present at the launch included: The First Lady of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mama Salma Kikwete; the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Kebwe Stephen Kebwe; Deputy Permanent Secretary for Prime Minsters Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PMORALG),Dr. Deo Mtasiwa; the Regional Commissioner for Dar es Salaam, Hon. Said Meck Sadiki; Regional Commissioners from the 27 regions; Regional and District Medical Officers; Senior Ministry of Health and Social Welfare officials; Members of Parliament; Ambassadors; Development Partners including representatives from the UN agencies, private sectors, NGOs, CSOs; and members of the media.

The President of the United Republic of Tanzania began his address by pledging “Today, we renew our promise to ensure the survival of mothers and children in Tanzania”. With 600 days remaining before the MDG deadline, the President cited the significant achievements made in reducing childhood morbidity and mortality as a result of high immunization coverage, Malaria control, Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) and Health Sector Reforms. “The challenge remains to sustain the gains and accelerate efforts to reduce maternal mortality which is a silent emergency”, he emphasized. The President especially congratulated the Regions that are making progress towards reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality and urged all the Regional Health Teams and the Local Government Authorities to work together to reflect on “what can be done to address the challenges locally” and also “learn from those who have made progress”.

Launching the RMNCH scorecard and the Sharpened One Plan, the President said to the Regional Commissioners, “These are your working tools. We will use them to track your commitment, leadership and accountability for the lives of mothers and children at national and regional levels”. He concluded by urging everyone to play their role in ensuring “No woman dies while giving life and all children get good nutrition especially in the first 1000 days of life”.

The Iringa Regional Commissioner, Dr. Christine Ishengoma delivered the statement and commitment by the Regional Commissioners to accelerate needed actions to reduce maternal and child mortality. The Regional Commissioners, Regional Secretaries, Regional Medical Officers, Ministry Staff, Development Partners and CSOs had met the previous day to discuss and agree on how to implement the Sharpened One Plan and use the RMNCH Score Card. She summarized areas for improvement highlighted in their deliberations to include:

  • Each region to develop plans to reduce maternal, newborn and child deaths in line with the Sharpened One Plan. Plans must be realistic, measurable, addressing regional context and participatory.
  • Regions to support Councils to formulate by-laws to guide implementation of the plans at village and ward levels.
  • To ensure accountability and leadership in health service provision for mothers and children.
  • Reporting on maternal, newborn and child deaths should be a permanent agenda in all meetings at all

levels (Ward and Village Development Committees, Regional and District Consultative Committees) “Let us all demonstrate accountability through actions!” Dr. Ishengoma concluded.

Remarks on behalf of the UN Agencies were delivered by Acting UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Joyce Mends Cole. The speech commended the President for demonstrating exemplary leadership in accelerating efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality. While noting tremendous progress made in the attainment of MDG 4, she said” challenges still remain to ensure attainment of MDG 5. Since we know what needs to be done to reduce maternal deaths, we can translate this knowledge into budgets and actions which are outlined in the Sharpened One Plan”. She concluded by assuring United Nation’s commitment to “play its part” along with other development partners in supporting the Government of Tanzania to attain MDG 4 and 5 by 2015 and beyond.

During the event the President participated in a number of activities including:

  • Listening to a presentation on the overview of the status of maternal, newborn and child health at Global and Country levels made by the Acting Director of Preventive Services, Dr. Neema Rusibamayila
  • Presenting the following awards to:
    • the Singida Regional Medical Officer for demonstrating outstanding leadership and
    • management towards reduction of maternal and child mortality in Singida Region
    • the Mara Regional Commissioner for demonstrating outstanding political leadership towards improvement of women and children’s health in Mara Region
  • the Development Partners Group for Health (DPG-H) and the United Nations Health and Nutrition Working Group for outstanding partnership and support towards improvement of women and children’s health in Tanzania
  • Launching of the Sharpened One Plan
  • Launching of the RMNCH Score Card
  • Handing over the Sharpened One Plan and the RMNCH Score Card to the Regional Commissioners and the Development Partners.
  • Tour of exhibition booths

WHO provided technical and financial support in the preparatory activities leading to the success of the event.