Let’s start with some headline statistics:
- 43% of births in Tanzania take place at home
- Of these, only 1.5% take place in settings with access to safe water and sanitation
- Only 44% of health facilities that conduct deliveries have provision of safe water and sanitation facilities
And putting that all together:
- Only 30% of births in Tanzania take place in an environment that includes access to safe water and sanitation.
These findings come from an analysis of data from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the 2006 Service Provision Assessment, by researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the World Health Organisation and Bugando Hospital.
Access to safe water and sanitation facilities seems like such a fundamental part of giving birth, wherever it happens. That only 30% of mothers in Tanzania have such access is pretty shocking.
But the researchers went further, to look at how access to a safe water and sanitation environment when giving birth varied across the country, and between richer and poorer Tanzanians. It turns out that the headline figures cover up some major differences.