Averting maternal mortality in focus at this year’s SATA Conference

Anesthesia: Averting Maternal Mortality. This is the theme for the Annual Conference of the Society of Anaesthesiologists of Tanzania, SATA, in May 2017. Deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth remains high in low-resource settings and reducing them is a priority area for Life Support Foundation, which will take an active role in the conference.

Over 800 women die every day because of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, according to the WHO. Nearly all the deaths occur in low-resource settings and are preventable. The main reasons are bleeding, pre-eclampsia and infections – conditions that often requires surgery.IMG_1132

In Tanzania 8000  mothers die each year, and Life Support Foundation is running the project “Life Support for Mothers and Babies in Dar”, to improve emergency care.

– Our numbers of maternal mortality have remained the same since the last data was collected and analyzed, says Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya, Anaesthesiologist and Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health in Tanzania, explaning the need to readdress the problem through this year’s meeting.

Surgically treatable conditions kill millions of people every year in low-income settings. Safe surgery is impossible without reliable anesthesia, but still it remains a low priority in many countries. In Tanzania, there are only 22 Anaesthesiologists for a population of 49 million people.

Lasse Tim MpokiIn order to change this situation, SATA was established by a group of Anaesthesiologists led by Dr Mpoki Ulisubisya. Life Support Foundation has been an instrumental catalyst in this process, and has taken an active role since the first national conference in May 2014.

As a result, Anaesthesia and Intensive Care is starting to receive more political attention in Tanzania and more junior doctors are choosing to specialise in Anaesthesia today.

Preparations have started for the Conference that will be held from May 15th to 17th in Dar es Salaam. As in previous years, Life Support Foundation will hold several presentations and conference sessions this year and will also sponsor anaesthetists from rural Tanzania and other countries to attend the Conference.

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