Although the maternal mortality rate in Ethiopia has been declining steadily over the years, too many girls and women continue to die needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth. Those who survive often experience debilitating injuries. The availability of fully functioning medical facilities is limited and access to health services is a recognized problem, particularly in rural and isolated communities. Only 10% of women go to a hospital or clinic to deliver their babies. The Ethiopian Government is confronting these challenges by working to implement strategies to strengthen maternal and newborn health services, and improve the quality of care.
Many maternal health research projects and programs are underway in Ethiopia, coordinated by the Ministry of Health. This May 2012 article from Irin and the Guardian Development Network captures the challenges and some of the possible solutions.
A pioneer in the maternal health movement and good friend of the MHTF, Prof Mahmoud Fathalla, is famous for suggesting that “The question should not be why do women not accept the service that we offer, but why do we not offer a service that women will accept.”
Building on the work already underway throughout Ethiopia and in concert with government agencies and local partners, the MHTF is conducting a set of implementation research studies that address Prof Fathalla’s challenge.
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The Guardian | November 2013
All Africa | November 2013
CSIS - Smart Global Health | November 2013