Claim: Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate reduces from 55 deaths in 2020 to 42 deaths in 2022
Source: Fatma Mwassa
Verdict: FALSE & NO EVIDENCE
Researched by Theresia Method
Has the maternal mortality rate in Tanzania reduced from 55 deaths in 2020 to 42 deaths in 2022?
That is the claim made in a story published by Daily News, a leading Tanzanian media organization on June 23, 2023, and attributed to the KAGERA Regional Commissioner, Fatma Mwassa.
“Ms Mwassa explained that cooperation between regional authorities and stakeholders has enabled reduction in maternal mortality rate from 55 deaths in 2020 to 42 deaths in 2022,” the Daily News article partly read.
Subsequent efforts to clarify the data in the script meant we reached out to the writer, Meddy Mulisa who confirmed in a telephone interview that the claim was made by the KAGERA Regional Commissioner.
This fact-check report seeks to verify:
- Whether Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate was 55 deaths in 2020
- Whether Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate was 42 deaths in 2022
What is maternal mortality?
Maternal mortality refers to deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.
From 2000 to 2020, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined by 34 per cent – from 342 deaths to 223 deaths per 100,000 live births, according to UN inter-agency estimates.
Despite progress, 57 per cent of all maternal deaths occur on the continent, giving Africa the highest maternal mortality ratio in the world.
Maternal mortality ratio is the number of women who die from pregnancy-related causes while pregnant or within 42 days of pregnancy termination per 100,000 live births.
According to World Bank data on Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate, the country recorded 238 deaths in 2020 per 100,000 live births.
So, the claim that Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate was 55 deaths in 2020 is FALSE.
Further, Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics which has the mandate to provide official statistics to the Government of Tanzania and the public at large is yet to publish the country’s Maternal mortality rate for 2022.
In the National Bureau of Statistics “Tanzania in figures report 2022” the country recorded 220 deaths per 100,000 births in 2021, compared to 556 deaths per 100,000 births in 2019.
Source: Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey/ Ministry of Health
However, there is no available information from the National Bureau of Statistics as to what the 2022 data is. So there seems not to be any evidence to substantiate that Tanzania recorded 42 deaths in 2022.
The claim that Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate was 55 deaths in 2020 is FALSE, and also there is NO EVIDENCE to prove that maternal mortality rate was 42 in 2022.
This report was compiled under the mentorship of Africa Facts network member [FactSpace West Africa]. Africa Facts is a network of fact-checkers across the continent supported by Africa Check, Africa’s first independent fact-checking organisation.