Welcome to Maternity Africa

Making childbirth safe

Changing Lives

Too many women die in child birth every day. Find out how you can join us in making childbirth safe.

Make an Impact

Our vision is to make child birth safe for mother and child. Can you help? Every gift helps.

Helping Women Achieve Safe Childbirth


We are a Christian not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping women across Africa by making childbirth safe. We support local communities, providing information to keep mothers and babies healthy and provide excellent medical care and training. We also treat birth-induced injuries such as obstetric fistula.

Each year we plan to


We plan to do 2500 deliveries


Teach more than 1,000 women Family planning


Conduct 150 Fistula Operations


Oversee more than 10000 antenatal care visits


Problems facing pregnant women in developing countries

Every year over 300,000 women die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth because they do not have access to safe medical care. Death is not the only risk that women face. Many are left with permanent injuries, all because they wanted a family.

Maternity Africa believes disadvantaged women should be able to access high quality healthcare, before, during and after childbirth.

Where do maternal deaths occur?

The high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects unequal access to health services and highlights the gap between rich and poor. Almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries. Most of the deaths (83%) occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The maternal mortality ratio in developing countries in 2015 is 239 per 100,000 live births versus just 12 in developed countries. There are also large disparities: between countries, between women with high or low income, and between women living in rural or urban areas.

The risk of maternal mortality is highest for girls under 15 years. Complications in pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death among adolescent girls in developing countries (2), (3).

Women in developing countries have, on average, many more pregnancies than women in developed countries. Therefore, their lifetime risk of death due to pregnancy is higher. The probability that a 15 year old woman, will eventually die from a maternal cause is 1 in 4900 in developed countries versus 1 in 180 in developing countries. In countries designated as fragile states, the risk is 1 in 54, showing the consequences of breakdowns in health systems.

Why do women die?

Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable or treatable. Other complications may exist before pregnancy but are worsened during pregnancy, especially if not managed as part of the woman’s care. The complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are (4):

  • severe bleeding (especially after childbirth)

  • infections (usually after childbirth)

  • high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)

  • complications from delivery

  • unsafe abortion.

The remainder are caused by or associated with diseases such as malaria, and AIDS during pregnancy.

Why do women not get the care they need?

Poor women in remote areas are the least likely to receive adequate health care. This is especially true for regions with low numbers of skilled health workers, such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In 2015, 89% of births in the richest 20 per cent of households were attended by skilled health professionals. In the poorest 20 per cent of households only 43% were attended. This means that millions of births are not assisted by a midwife, a doctor or a trained nurse.

In high-income countries, virtually all women have at least four antenatal care visits. In addition, they are attended by a skilled health worker during childbirth, and receive postpartum care. In 2015, only 40% of all pregnant women in low-income countries had the recommended antenatal care visits.

The factors that prevent women from receiving or seeking care during pregnancy and childbirth are:

– poverty
– distance and transportation
– lack of information
– inadequate services
– cultural practices

To improve maternal health, barriers that limit access to quality maternal health services must be identified and addressed at all levels of the health system.

How can women’s lives be saved?

Most maternal deaths are preventable, as the health-care solutions to prevent or manage complications are well known.

All women need access to professional antenatal care in pregnancy, skilled care during childbirth, and care and support in the weeks after childbirth.

Maternal health and newborn health are closely linked. It was estimated that approximately 2.7 million newborn babies died in 2015, and an additional 2.6 million are stillborn (6). It is particularly important that all births are attended by skilled health professionals, as timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death for both mother and baby.

Severe bleeding after birth can kill a healthy woman within hours if she is not attended by a professional health worker. Medication given immediately after childbirth effectively reduces the risk of bleeding.

Infection can be eliminated if good hygiene is practiced and if early signs of infection are recognized and treated.

Pre-eclampsia can be detected and managed with medication before the onset of eclampsia (convulsions and other life-threatening complications).

To avoid maternal deaths, all women, including adolescents, need education and access to family planning and prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care from professional healthcare workers.

Sustainable development goals for maternal health

Seeing that it is possible to accelerate the decline, countries have now united behind a new target to reduce maternal mortality even further. One target under Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 births, with no country having a maternal mortality rate of more than twice the global average.


The percentage of women in Tanzania who give birth without the assistance of a trained health professional.

Approximate number of women who die everyday from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. WHO estimates that 99% of these deaths occur developing countries.


The percentage by which maternal deaths would be reduced through family planning and quality maternal/child.

For each maternal death, 20 women experience serious complications related to pregnancy. Obstetric fistula is one of the most devastating.

What We Do

Maternity Africa believes that statistics like these should be a thing of the past,  because they are not just numbers but women. We are passionate about providing the most at risk and vunerable women in Arusha, Tanzania access to free family planning, prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care by skilled health professionals.

We started working in Tanzania in 2013. In June 2018 we opened a new 44 bed maternity centre in Arusha. The centre provides complete obstetric care, family planning and a special care nursery for babies . We provide extensive and on-going training to our midwives to ensure we are delivering the best care possible.

We hold 4 Fistula “camps” a year, with specialist surgeons flying in to conduct surgeries. We can care for women with fistula for many weeks before and after surgery.

We are a rapidly growing centre, getting busier every month as we strive toward our goals, changing the lives of so many women in the process.

Fistula Operations


Family Planning

Educating and equiping

Antenatal Care

Assess and Address

Labour & Delivery

Celebration of Life

Our Stories

Preparing for fistula surgery

Maternity Africa is preparing for its forthcoming camp when it expects to treat 30-40 ladies for obstetric fistula and other birth-induced injuries. In fact, we are expecting some patients to arrive at Kivulini Maternity Centre today, having travelled from rural areas...

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Screening trips to find fistula patients

Plans are underway at Maternity Africa for this year's second fistula camp. A camp is a period of intense activity, when up to 40 ladies come for treatment. Treatment includes preparation for surgery, including making sure that the lady is physically fit and properly...

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International Nurses Day: Appreciating our wonderful nurses

International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. At Kivulini Maternity Centre, we celebrate the contributions that are nurses and their colleagues make, serving the vulnerable and marginalised women...

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P.O Box 16464

Arusha, Tanzania


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