Swahili version of the Safe Delivery App launched in Tanzania
After years of collaboration, Maternity Foundation, Ifakara Health Institute in partnership with the Danish Embassy in Tanzania and the Ole Kirk Foundation have launched a Swahili version of the Safe Delivery App, supporting healthcare workers to ensure safer childbirths for mothers and newborns in Tanzania.
Tanzania’s midwives and other skilled birth attendants have the lives of mothers and newborns in their hands every day. To support them in their daily work – and in their continuous training – Ifakara Health Institute and Maternity Foundation are introducing a Swahili language version of the Safe Delivery App, a mobile learning and training tool to manage childbirth related situations.
Fighting maternal mortality in Tanzania
Despite significant efforts by the government, civil society, and international agencies to improve access to quality care for mothers and newborns in Tanzania, the maternal mortality rate was still estimated at 556 per 100,000 live births in 2016. One of the keys to improve maternal health is to secure proper training of and support to healthcare workers, and the Safe Delivery App is a handy, efficient, and innovative tool to do so.
The App is free and works offline, and it uses simple, intuitive animated instructions to guide healthcare workers in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care as well as management of Covid-19. It includes videos, quizzes, descriptions of practical procedures, and drug lists that midwives and healthcare workers can always refer to – on the job, either in their spare time or as part of their training.
With support from the Danish Embassy in Tanzania and Ole Kirk Foundation, Maternity Foundation and Ifakara Health Institute have been collaborating to develop the Swahili version of the Safe Delivery App since 2017, working closely with key stakeholders in the country to ensure a high quality of content and clinical guidelines.
The work was led by Ifakara Health Institute and with important partners including Pediatrics Association of Tanzania (PAT) and the Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (AGOTA) contributing with thorough review and adaptation of the clinical content of the App.
Partnerships are key
The roll out and implementation of the Swahili App across the country will kick off following the launch on November 19, led by Ifakara Health Institute in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health and regional health authorities as well as Maternity Foundation. Some of the key activities include training of healthcare workers and introduction to the App, as well as monitoring and evaluation to document impact and capture learnings and best practices. All of this to ensure the best possible support for the healthcare workers using the App.
“We are very happy to now be able to get the Safe Delivery App into the hands of midwives and other skilled birth attendants across Tanzania. They save lives every day, and with this new addition to their work and training, we can support them in that – thanks to great partnerships on the ground,” says Anna Felsen, CEO of Maternity Foundation.
“We’re optimistic about the future: In the years ahead, our mission remains to identify priority health needs of our people and to create scalable solutions for them. With the Safe Delivery App, our healthcare workers now have new tools to always refer to, update their knowledge and skills on how to handle different complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, so that no life should be lost during childbirth,” says Donat Shamba, Project Coordinator, Tanzania.
The Danish Ambassador in Tanzania, Mette Nørgaard Dissing-Spandet, is also happy that the Swahili version of the Safe Delivery App is finally being launched: “Improving maternal and new-born health is Danish and Tanzanian priority. With the App, I hope that we will see a reduction in the number of mothers dying while giving life”. The Danish Ambassador is also eager to see that the Safe Delivery App is being institutionalized in the health care system in order to provide sustainable results.
About Ifakara Health Institute:
Ifakara Health Institute is a leading research organization in Africa with a strong track record in developing, testing and validating innovations for health. Driven by a core strategic mandate for research, training and services, the Institute’s work now spans a wide spectrum, covering biomedical and ecological sciences, intervention studies, health-systems research and policy translation.