Maternal Child Health

For the last ten years, ENAHPA has been working to reduce the alarming rate of mother and infant mortality in Ethiopia through various measures, including public education and maternity kits for safe newborn delivery.

Improving maternal health remains one of Ethiopia’s most important challenges to ending high child mortality today. While Ethiopia has made some headway towards improving maternal and child health still, 2009 demographic and health data showed that 25,000 women died every year giving birth and an infant mortality rate of 77 per 1,000 live births. In terms of personnel, the country has only one midwife and three doctors for every 100,000 citizens. Only 6 percent of births occurred in a health facility attended by skilled health personnel, a report by the UN Population Fund stated. Those mothers that don’t deliver children at home walk untold miles to ill-equipped, makeshift clinics. Limited space and beds forces mothers to return home, carrying their newborn children only hours after giving birth. Infections are the most common cause of death, followed by low birth weight due to poor nutrition, asphyxia, congenital problems and other causes.

ENAHPA broke ground on the Al-Amoudi and Volvo Maternal Child Health Center (MCH) in Hawassa, Ethiopia. Hawassa is a town located about 4 hours south of Addis Ababa. In partnership with the Regional Health Bureau, ENAHPA completed the construction of the MCH Center in February 2010.The Center will serve as a model program in the region and provide services for Hawassa and its surrounding population. It will also serve to train medical students from various health colleges and medical schools in the area. The Maternal Child Health Project also includes:

 

Skills Training Course in Emergency Obstetrics

In partnership with the Medical School in Hawassa, ENAHPA developed and provided a skills training course in February 2010 in emergency obstetrics for midwives and other health professionals hired for the Center.ENAHPA is providing gloves and masks for these midwives.

Solar Powered Flashlights for ENAHPA's Rural Care Program

Since 2009, with the help of our partners, has delivered 50 solar powered flashlights for midwives in the rural areas surrounding Hawassa. These flashlights can provide approximately seven hours of light on a daily solar recharge and are invaluable for assisting women who go into labour at night. ENAHPA is working with the manufacturer of the flashlight to offer a sales program for Ethiopia on their website and seeking corporate benefactors.

Safe Delivery Kits

With 90% of woman giving birth at home and without the help of a trained health worker, the risk of infection is high. A pilot program featuring a clean-delivery kit is a simple approach to reducing these numbers. It helps women and newborns avoid life-threatening infections. Most kits contain a small bar of soap for washing hands, a plastic sheet to serve as the delivery surface, clean string for tying the umbilical cord, a new razor blade for cutting the cord, and pictorial instructions that illustrate the sequence of delivery events and hand-washing.

Social Financing 

ENAHPA has applied for a grant of $75,000 to provide low interest loans to women in the Hawassa area who are involved in making handcrafts. As part of the small loan agreement, the woman would be required to assemble safe delivery kits for ENAHPA’s rural maternal care program.