This project aims to improve maternal, newborn and child health in three remote and underserved districts in Ethiopia: Damot Pulasa, Arsi Negele and Adaa. In order to address the high rates of mortality in these areas, the project focuses on addressing existing gaps in the health systems, and problems related to the prevalence of killer diseases and malnutrition. Reaching around 120,000 women, newborns and children, project activities include: training health workers and traditional birth attendants on safe, clean delivery, nutrition and improved child-feeding practices, and emergency obstetric care; distributing medical equipment for health centres; establishing neonatal care units; and education on sanitation and hygiene, and malaria prevention. The project also aims to train mothers in home-based management of common childhood illnesses. Using a community-based approach the project is expected to lead to behaviour changes, which are expected to have a positive impact on maternal, newborn and child health in the targeted regions. To implement this project, the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada is working in partnership with : Bole Bible Baptist Church Child Care and Community Development, Ratson-Women, the Youth and Children Development Program, and the Wolaitta Kale Heywot Church Terepeza Development Association. This project is part of Canada’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health commitment. The maximum CIDA contribution to this project includes $10,000 for monitoring purposes.
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: (i) increased use of quality gender-sensitive maternal, newborn and child health services by women and children (girls and boys); (ii) increased practice of appropriate gender-sensitive, home-based management of childhood illness and prevention of common diseases among parents (mothers/fathers); and (iii) improved child-feeding practice among parents (mothers/fathers).
Results achieved as of December 2013 include: (i) training more than 690 traditional birth attendants ; (ii) improving the ability of health centres to provide clean and safe services during childbirth and to effectively respond to danger signs shown by mothers and newborns; (iii) increasing the number of women delivering their babies in health institutions, from 9.3% at the baseline survey in 2012 to 42.9% in 2013 (resulting in a total of 9,776 births assisted by skilled birth attendants); (iv) increasing the average number of skilled deliveries per month in 13 health centres (from 158 in December 2011 to 670 in December 2013); (v) protecting 14,151 pregnant women, 38,055 children under five, and 25,752 other family members from malaria; (vi) reaching 45,903 people with information on the proper and consistent use of long lasting insecticide-treated nets; and (vii) initiating a process to get endorsement from respective regional health bureaus to establish anti-retroviral therapy service in nine target health centres following prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV training for clinical health workers, and increasing the proportion of mothers who received postnatal care from 16 % to 46%.
These results are contributing to improving access to quality health services for mothers, newborns and children, including preventing common childhood illnesses such as malaria.