By Helen Ford, Health Correspondent

Stepping onto the delivery corridor at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and it is clear this is a busy place.

Four and a half thousand babies are born here every year. That is perhaps not surprising when you learn that KCMC serves a population of fifteen million people across northern Tanzania. Because this is a referral hospital, many of the women who come here have complex medical requirements.

For some years, these mothers-to-be who have benefitted from equipment that has made its way here from the North East: ultrasound machines, that were once in use at the Northumbria Healthcare Trust.

Dr Pendo Mlay shows me the ultrasound machine donated from our region Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Although they were replaced when technology moved on, the equipment was deemed to be in good working order. After checks and other procedures, a number of machines were handed over, to this and neighbouring hospitals in Tanzania.

The donations are the result of a twenty year partnership between Northumbria Healthcare - which provides services across North Tyneside and Northumberland - and KCMC in the town of Moshi.

It means that all women coming to KCMC receive at least one free ultrasound scan during their pregnancy. Head of department Dr Pendo Mlay told me this has been a great step forward in identifying complications and reducing deaths.

Dr Mlay shows me around the maternity department Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

"This collaboration has been an example of providing those services free of charge and of course, with the donation of those ultrasound, the department has really improved in maternal healthcare.

Dr Pendo Mlay, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre

Other ultrasound machines have been distributed to outlying hospitals. We took a scenic journey north, climbing towards Mount Kilimanjaro, to visit one of them in the community of Kibosho.

From a vantage point, we looked down on KCMC and the vast area it covers.

It seemed an appropriate place to talk to Brenda Longstaff, who heads the Northumbria Healthcare charity which supports the partnership financially.

Brenda told me how she had seen the link grow.

Brenda Longstaff has been part of the Tanzania project from the start Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

I think everyone who's been involved in this work can be hugely proud of what they've achieved because they've helped to bring in new services for Tanzania.

Brenda Longstaff, Bright Northumbria

Those involved in the partnership say there are benefits for both sides. Staff at KCMC receive training and guidance to help the hospital develop aspects of care. The UK team members say they learn valuable lessons from their time in Tanzania, which help them in their roles back home.

Eventually, the aim is to hand over the projects entirely to staff at KCMC. Until that point, this twenty year link will doubtless continue to grow.