U.S. Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt today unveiled a new maternity operating room at the Amana Hospital in Ilala District constructed with funds from the American people.
The hospital serves more than 790,000 Ilala residents. According to hospital officials, of the 80-100 women who give birth at Amana daily, there are on average five who need emergency C-sections. In the past, women in need of emergency obstetric care or Caesarean sections at Amana were taken to the hospital’s main operating theater. But when Amana decided to renovate that surgical suite, hospital officials were concerned about possible surgical delays or the impact of referring emergency maternity cases to Muhimbili National Hospital, 10 kilometers away for care.
Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Dr. Meshack Shimwela, medical officer in-charge of Amana Hospital, U.S. Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt lauded the hospital for its leadership and steadfastness in providing quality medical care and said the special partnership between the United States, the European Union, and Tanzania has yielded strong results to be proud of: “Those women who choose to deliver in Amana can now be assured of timely, lifesaving surgical interventions in the event of a complication that may result from giving life to the next generation of Tanzanian children.” The American ambassador said enhancement of maternity services is part of U.S. total development assistance partnership with Tanzania that exceeded $700 million in 2010.
The solution was to renovate space in the 120-bed maternity ward to create its own operating room. The $19,000 renovation was made possible through the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) working with the John Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics. USAID has been supporting critical maternal and reproductive health interventions to prevent the needless death of women and families in Tanzania for more than a decade. In the Dar es Salaam region, which has a population of close to two million people, USAID has been partnering with the European Union to support the Municipal Councils in their efforts to provide modern maternity services to the women of this region.
Also present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Ambassador Tim Clarke of the European Union, Honorable Mussa Zungu, MP-Ilala, Mr. Jerry Silaa, Mayor, Ilala Municipal, Mr. Gabriel Fuime, Ilala Municipal Director, and Dr. Alain Damiba, Vice President Global Program Operations of the John Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics.