Moshi. Kilimanjaro Region has continued to record high infant and maternal mortality rates, with 678 infants and 47 mothers reported to have died last year.
This was revealed recently by the Regional Commissioner, Mr Saidi Mecky Sadiki, referring to data collected from hospitals in the region. The national infant and maternal mortality rate for 2015 was 556 for each 100,000 expectant mothers, up from 450 in 2010, he explained.
He said despite efforts by the government to improve health delivery services, deaths of infants and their mothers have continued to increase. For instance, during 2010 infant deaths recorded from each 1,000 deliveries in the region were 32. The figure rose to 43 in 2015.
The RC attributed most of the deaths of mothers to excessive bleeding, abortion and complications related to pregnancy.
Many of the infants lost their lives due to complications related to respiration. He largely blamed this to failure by their mothers to attend clinics. But a paedetrician with the Mawenzi Regional Hospital Godwin Macheku said shortage of medical experts and equipment in the maternal wards were also to blame.
For her part, a medical expert at the KCMC Grace Kinabo said poor nutrition among mothers could be another factor for soaring deaths of infants.