Safer Obstetrics in Rural Tanzania

The SOGC is currently participating in a collaborative project with the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) with funding obtained from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Safer Obstetrics in Rural Tanzania project aims to upgrade the skills of non-physician clinicians in the rural regions of Mbeya, Tanga, Moshi, and Mwanza, with an ultimate goal of contributing to the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in Tanzania.

There is a massive shortage of health professionals in Tanzania, which means that non-physician clinicians, including clinical officers, assistant medical officers and midwives, provide most of the obstetric care offered in rural areas. Increasing the numbers of non-physician clinicians and providing quality training opportunities for them is critical to strengthening the health system and the services offered to rural populations. The training courses offered within the proposed project will allow non-physician clinicians to provide emergency obstetrical care, identify high risk cases for safe referral, and be able to perform caesarean sections.

The CNIS will provide training through delivery of its Essential Surgical Skills and Structured Operative Obstetrics courses and will also deliver its Fundamental Interventions Referral and Safe Transfer (FIRST) course at four clinical officer schools.

Rather than develop a new Emergency Obstetrical Care course the CNIS invited SOGC to provide the ALARM International course as a complement to the CNIS courses. The SOGC's role will be to upgrade the skills and knowledge of midwives, obstetricians and assistant medical officers on Emergency Obstetrical Care, through implementation of the ALARM International Program. SOGC's volunteer AIP instructors will travel to Tanzania in April, May and June of 2012 to deliver the first four AIP courses in each of the partner Assistant Medical Officer training institutions.

The SOGC is enthusiastic to bring the ALARM International Program to Tanzania and to have an opportunity to work in partnership with CNIS towards the common goal of ensuring safer obstetrics for rural Tanzania.

Photo credit: Hassan Shenassa