The Kivulini Hospital in Arusha

The Kivulini Hospital in Arusha

The Kivulini NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)

The Kivulini NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)

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In 2018, Unite began supporting the work of Maternity Africa and their Kivuluni Maternity Center through which they which provide free quality clinical care to the poorest and most vulnerable new and expectant mothers throughout the Arusha district and surrounding areas of Northern Tanzania. Kivulini also provides free fistula-repair surgeries to women during bi-annual “fistula camps,” during which renowned surgeons come from all around the world to operate on fistula sufferers.

Unite has provided funding to support the provision of free antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care to impoverished, at-risk teen mothers and to execute a teen-education program teaching girls about how to care for themselves and their babies when they go home. Currently, 30 % of those attending the centre are new or expecting teen mothers between the ages of 13 and 19. Now, thanks to Unite’s support, Kivulini’s midwifery team is providing each of these young women extra health education and encouragement to ensure the girls leave the hospitals with a greater understanding about motherhood and the skills they need to look after their health and that of their newborn babies. Specific topics covered include:

  • Postnatal care (excluding breastfeeding and weaning, vaccinations, danger signs for the newborn)

  • Maternal health (nutrition, hygiene, family planning & danger signs for the new moms)

Most recently one of Unite’s Scholars Hosiana Thomas, a young Maasai mama (who has been sponsored as by Unite to study community development in a local university), has joined the team at Kivulini an intern. Given Hosiana's own experience as an unwed teen mother from rural Maasailand, Hosiana understands first-hand the challenges, and she is now helping to inform Maternity Africa's new extended community outreach teen-mama-support program, designed to provide further lifesaving care and education to this extremely vulnerable population.