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Tanzania, 15 May 2014: Government launches national drive to end preventable child and maternal deaths

© UNICEF Tanzania/2014/Holt
Young babies who are receiving special new born care are photographed in the special care unit of Meta neo natal unit in Mbeya region, Tanzania.

Plan aims to prevent additional 14,500 child deaths and 1,400 maternal deaths in Tanzania by 2015

Dar e Salaam, 15 May 2014 – The Government of Tanzania has launched a major national drive to end maternal and child deaths across the country. 

As part of the global “Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed” movement, the President of the Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, unveiled a sharpened plan that aims to reduce an additional 25 per cent of Under 5 deaths and 30 per cent of maternal deaths by 2015.

“This sharpened plan is a critical step forward in Tanzania’s efforts to eliminate preventable child and maternal deaths,” said His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete.  “We now call on all levels of Government, civil society, the private sector, community leaders and the international community to come together to vigorously implement this plan so that we soon have a future where no Tanzanian child and mother unnecessarily dies from preventable causes.”   

The Plan envisions five strategic shifts: focusing geographically on areas with the highest number of child and maternal deaths (special focus on Western and Lake zones); increasing access of health services to deprived and vulnerable populations (poor, rural, less educated); emphasizing high impact interventions that target the direct causes of death (especially family planning, care at birth and post natal care); addressing the broader educational, economic and environmental context; and strengthening mutual accountability.

© Africa Inside Out for UNICEF/2014
During the A Promise Renewed Launch in Dar es Salaam, President Jakaya Kikwete renewed Tanzania's commitment to end preventable child deaths.

By increasing the high impact interventions called for in the plan, it is projected that the Under 5 Mortality Rate will fall from 81 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 46/1,000 in 2015, while the Maternal Mortality Rate will fall from 454 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 382/100,000 in 2015.

“If effectively implemented, this plan will greatly accelerate progress towards Tanzania’s child and maternal mortality – MDG 4 and 5 – targets by 2015,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i., Ms. Joyce Mends Cole. “Having identified child and maternal health as a priority area of focus in Tanzania, the United Nations now looks forward to providing its full support to implement this plan so that those children and women who are most at risk of perishing across the country can and will survive.” 

The sharpened plan was developed by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), USAID and other health partners.

The sharpened plan is projected to cost $ 32.7 million up to 2015. 


For more information, please contact: 

Sandra Bisin, UNICEF Tanzania , +255 78760079,

Sheila Ally, UNICEF Tanzania , +256 753181861, 


Note to Editors:

Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed is a global movement to end preventable maternal and child deaths through collective action and accountability. It started in June 2012 when the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States, together with UNICEF, brought together more than 700 partners from the public, private and civil society sectors for the Child Survival Call to Action.

In 2011, the Government of Tanzania renewed its promise to give every Tanzanian child the best possible start in life. Tanzania was among the first of 176 governments that pledged to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.  



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