Rose Mlay

BScN (1991) MN (1998)




WHO Scholarship Award recipient
Rose Mlay was one of the students admitted to the Dalhousie School of Nursing as part of the Tanzania Project 1989 – 1991 and received her BScN. Later through a WHO scholarship she was admitted in the same school in 1996 -1998 for MN. She subsequently returned to her country to practice.

Advocate for safe motherhood
Ms. Mlay was a Lecturer at Muhimbili University of Health Sciences (1991-2005) in Dares Salaam. Most recently, she has led the establishment and coordinated the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Tanzania (WRATZ) since 2005. In 2011, she coordinated production of the WRA film Play Your Part that challenges local, national and international audiences to support safe motherhood.

Demonstrated leadership
Ms. Mlay has led campaigns that influenced: policy change from a hiring freeze to immediately employ graduates to health institutions (2006 to present); creation of budget lines to address maternal and newborn health (MNH); raising awareness among secondary school youth to choose midwifery as a career; and promoting the image of professional Midwifery through community and political dialog.

Government influencer
In 2006, through her leadership, WRATZ influenced the government to establish an annual White Ribbon Day (March 15th) where politicians, NGOs, donors and the public gather to commemorate those women who died in childbirth and to formulate strategies to prevent maternal death. Her leadership promoted establishment of a Parliamentarian Group for Safe Motherhood in 2010 and this group has promoted midwifery during parliamentary sessions and lobbied for a Safe Motherhood Bill.

Leading the charge
Ms. Mlay is currently leading a campaign titled “Wajibika Mama Aishi”, that is, Be Accountable so Mama Can Survive Childbirth. It is a campaign requesting the government to honor its commitment to upgrade 50% of its health centers to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care to mitigate deaths related to geographical access to referring health centers. Ms. Mlay is co-editor of the Africa Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health and is a mother of three.