A number of reasons influence a woman’s choice or ability to seek maternal healthcare on time. Delays can cost a woman her life.

Recent research undertaken in Tanzania by International Growth Centre states, ‘In exploring the delay in seeking care, an interesting observation is made in the case of marital status. Results show increased risk [up to 85% increase] of maternal death if the woman is married or living with a partner compared to when the woman is single. This raises questions over who influences the decision-making process for a woman to deliver in a certain health facility: herself or her male partner?’

Neema is 19 years old. She is one of 12 siblings, although two of them died. She did not attend school.

When Neema was five years old, her parents arranged for her future marriage. As she grew up, she waited for her future husband also to grow up.

Neema became pregnant at the age of 19. However, her husband did not love her and left her when she was still pregnant.

A few days ago, Neema went into labour at midnight. Thankfully, she told her mother in law, and she travelled to Maternity Africa’s Kivulini Maternity Centre the next morning in a small bus. She delivered a little girl, 2.2kg (4.8lb) and was delighted to see her baby. Neema also received training from Maternity Africa on breastfeeding and general health.

We are delighted that Neema’s mother-in-law helped her to make the decision to deliver her baby safely with Maternity Africa.

Neema is now on Maternity Africa’s teenage care programme.

If you would like to help Maternity Africa to care for teenage mothers like Neema, please follow the link below. Thank you.

You can read International Growth Centre’s article here: