TotoHealth Tanzania Ltd is a social enterprise that has developed and rolled out a multi-component intervention aimed at improving maternal and child health through focusing on safe deliveries and newborn survival. The model includes use of an SMS system to provide information and education on maternal and newborn health.
The system makes links to community and health facilities and delivers life-saving products and newborn necessities through a Clean Delivery Kit and a Newborn Survival Pack for mother and baby. TotoHealth Tanzania’s experience of adopting the SMS messaging platform developed by partners Wazazi Nipendeni provides interesting lessons on the importance of reusing and improving upon the work of others, even when attempting to adapt a successful model from another country.
Maternal and newborn health are pressing issues in Tanzania – in particular, neonatal and infant mortality rates are high. Only 63 per cent of women give birth in health facilities, many of which have only the most basic of supplies needed to provide a safe delivery. The remaining 37 per cent of women, including those in rural areas and the poorest households, deliver their babies at home – often without the simplest necessities to care for a newborn or the knowledge to identify and seek care for birth defects and other problems associated with infants. TotoHealth Tanzania Ltd is a new social enterprise, and is a partnership between TotoHealth Kenya and a new team in Tanzania. By adapting and applying the Kenyan model, TotoHealth Tanzania aims to help achieve Tanzania’s vision of ending preventable maternal and child deaths by 2035.