MCSP, helps in saving lives of children in Kagera region

02May 2019
James Kandoya
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
MCSP, helps in saving lives of children in Kagera region
  • Maternal, newborn and child health outreach USAID- funded programme helps in saving lives of children in Kagera Region

Veronica Eventi, a resident of Bisole village, in Missenyi District, Kagera region left to her parent’s house after fought with her husband.

Neema Rogasian, registered nurse at Mwemage dispensary, in Missenyi District, Kagera region give drops of immune to one of the child to prevent from vaccine prevented diseases.

Eventi, a mother of four said she forgot to take her child to the clinic to get the vaccine while staying at her parent’s house as a result her child became weak.

 “While all this took place, I was a bit confused thus I could not realize that immune was still important for my child health and therefore ignored it,” she said.

As a result, her child became weak after missing necessary preventable vaccines and was attacked so much by diseases.

However, thanks to the Community Health workers (CHW), Leonida Adolf who visited her in her routine to take clinic records and found that she was not attending.

Adolf had been trained through Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP) aimed at ensuring that pregnant mothers and children attend clinics to get full complement vaccines.

“Indeed, it was dialogue on the importance of vaccine to pregnant mothers and the child under five years,” she explained.

At last, she agreed to take the child to the dispensary and received full complement of vaccine.

Her child is no more at a risk of getting preventable diseases such as measles and all related to that.

“I’m proud that my child health is improving and becoming stronger day to day, thanks for the efforts and knowledge from the CHW,”she explained.

 Eventi represents women in Kagera region, benefitted from the Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP) that played a big role in reducing vaccine-preventable deaths.

MSCP, a five years project is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to increase coverage and utilization of high quality-reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Interventions at all levels.

About 70bn/- has been spent during MCSP implementation in different facilitating outreach programmes in some parts of the county.

Through the programme, region has successfully increased immune coverage, one of the most cost-effective and lasting health investments, playing a vital role in reducing child mortality.

Seconding the arguments, Placidia Muganguzi, a registerd nurse at St Joseph Kagondo hospital in commended efforts made by the MCSP to reduce vaccine preventable diseases.

She said since MCSP started in 2014, it has reduced the number maternal and child morality through training to CHW.

“The outreached programme play a big role since women have no more walk longer distance to get healthcare services,” she said.

According to John George, the MCSP Project Coordinator, the programme provided technical assistance to improve Tanzania’s routine immunization coverage.

This involved improving equity and quality of immunization services in poorer-performing districts and reaching children who are not receiving their full complement of vaccines.

He said the move involves the improvement of the quality of health training institutions by empowering nursing and midwifery in the private health institutions.

Having been funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), it targets to improve vaccination/immunization coverage, Malaria control and cancer prevention in the Lake Zone regions especially Mara and Kagera.

He said “We are proud that in five years of the project, we have reached more than 10 million people in different places”.

“Furthermore, under the project, at least twenty three advisory policies and guidelines were formulated and put in place,”

The programme also empowered more than 60 percent of health training institutions by building the capacity of the tutors, staffs and supplies of equipments.

Furthermore, it increased the coverage and utilization of high-quality reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health intervention at all levels.

 “Since its inception, the programme has registered a remarkably success in increasing immune coverage from 85 to over 98.5 percent,” he said.

He pointed out that despite achievements, lacks of human resources in health facilities and fund to improve infrastructure in public owned health institutions was still a big challenge.

George noted that   commitment of leadership especially from regional medical officers was an important tool to achieve the target.

Muleba District Medical Officer, Dr Modestus Lwekahemula said since it started, the project had increased immune coverage ranged between 65-75 to 98.7 percent, thanked for the programme.

He added that despite the fact that his district   faces some discrepancies such as poor infrastructure, it has procured two boats to reach all people living in islands.

According to him, out of 36 islands, only twenty five islands reached for healthcare services while the remaining ones have nothing in it.

“As a district council, we have already procured two boats to facilitate movement of CHW going to the island to roll out immune.

 “Our micro plan helps to capture demand of immune to people living in island. Without having planning, it cannot be known well,” he said.

Through Comprehensive Council Health Plan (CCHP) all plans are submitted from all level within the council for further implementation

In the same vein, the Kagera Regional Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Marko Mbata said MCSP played a pivotal role in increasing the immune coverage increased from 81 to 92 percent, after the programme trained and engaged the CHW.

He said the programme also updated the health institutions and skills to the nurses and midwife offering maternal and child health.

“Community engagement at   all levels in particular those in residing in rural, has to great extent increased immune coverage, “he said.

 At the end of April each year, Tanzania joins healthcare communities to celebrate the World Immunization Week, an opportunity to promote the vaccination agenda around the world.

 At the same time, it’s a chance to reflect on how far the world has come in preventing diseases and improving human health.

It is an essential part of the global health agenda focusing on promoting the immunization agenda around the world in three specific goals.

Firstly, it looks to raise awareness of how vaccines positively impact the health of children and communities.

Secondly, the Week builds knowledge of how routine vaccinations are part of a healthy global system across the world. And finally, it highlights how far we have come in preventing diseases, while also shedding light on the gaps that persist.

This year’s theme for the World Immunization Week is Protected Together: Vaccines Work. The idea reflects some vaccination-related issues in global health.

Unfortunately, herd immunity is not possible when not everyone has access to vaccines or chooses not to administer them.

 So, this year’s campaign centers on the communal nature of immunization to ensure not only the prevention but also the eradication of diseases.