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Replicating the MamaToto Program in Rural Tanzania (IMCHA)

This project will address high maternal and newborn mortality in Tanzania by adapting and implementing a maternal and newborn health intervention approach that follows the MamaToto process.

Health care in rural Tanzania
The rural regions of Geita and Mwanza have some of the worst maternal and child health indicators in the country. Local health facilities are under-resourced and possess limited management capacity. While the national policy calls for a community health-worker program, the reality is that there are gaps in coordinating and implementing community health services at local levels.

Community health-workers have limited training and supervision. The Government of Tanzania's new commitment to improving mothers and children's well-being needs evidence that will support the creation of stronger health systems through community-based interventions.

The MamaToto approach
This project draws on the low-cost MamaToto (mother-baby) process implemented in Uganda, where substantial gains in maternal and child health were achieved. These gains took place through an approach that strengthened services at health facilities and within communities.

This project will implement and evaluate a modified version of MamaToto in rural Tanzania, aligned with the country's current policy guidance for community health services. The project team will engage district leaders, strengthen facility services, and develop the role of community health workers. They will demonstrate if and how community-based interventions can reduce maternal and child mortality by effectively bringing low-cost program efforts to scale under government leadership.

This project aims to scale up national maternal and child health programs that will improve survival rates for mothers and children. Based on these interventions, the project team will develop an implementation package that includes lessons learned, tools, and other materials to allow other jurisdictions to undertake similar initiatives.

Project partners
This project is part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program. The program is a seven-year $36 million initiative funded by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
54 months
IDRC Officer
Sana Naffa
Total Funding
CA$ 929,745.00
Global Health
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
MD Dr. Dismas Matovelo
Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences
Institution Country
Project Leader
MD Dr. Jenn Brenner
The Governors of The University of Calgary