Tanzania has made significant progress in reducing maternal mortality, the number of women dying during child birth is still high at 556 per100,000 live births: 21 per cent of all deaths of women of reproductive age (MoHCDGEC). Among the many complications that can arise, excessive bleeding, otherwise know as post partum haemorrhaging (PPH), is understood to account for 25–28 per cent of these deaths (TDHS-MIS). Taking the projected number of births in Tanzania and calculating those that would experience PPH, it is believed that an estimated 115,609 women’s lives could be saved each year by averting the problem.
In response, Jhpiego and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) introduced the innovative Every Second Matters (ESM) uterine balloon tamponade (UBT), a life-saving, low-cost device that can be used in low-resource facilities where blood transfusion or surgery may not be available. The ESM-UBT comprises a catheter connected to a silicone balloon that is inserted into the uterus and when it is inflated with clean water to fill the cavity it minimises blood flow. The ESM-UBT is simple to use and can be implemented by health workers with minimal training.