The goal of this project is to strengthen Ethiopia’s health systems in order to deliver effective maternal, newborn and child health services to nomadic communities in the Omo Valley. Using a community-based approach, the project aims to: increase the number of pregnant women accessing health services; increase the proportion of health facilities providing comprehensive health care; and reduce nutritional deficiencies that affect safe childbirth and development. Activities include: training midwives and health workers on emergency obstetric and newborn care, and the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and waterborne diseases; training nurses on safe and clean childbirth; and providing ambulances and laboratory equipment to three health facilities. The African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) Canada is working with AMREF Ethiopia to implement this project. 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.
Results achieved as of December 2013 include: (i) 25.7% increase in the number of pregnant women accessing appropriate postnatal care coverage and 78.5% of pregnant women are accessing antenatal care services; (ii) 450 health workers have upgraded their skills, enabling 3,136 pregnant women to be reached with potentially lifesaving antenatal care services and 2,733 pregnant women to be reached with services to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT); 17,390 children have been immunized against fatal childhood diseases and 1,563 women were vaccinated against tetanus; 45% of health facilities are equipped with essential medical equipment and supplies including two ambulances deployed; 156 Community Health Posts (96%) have adopted improved referral systems resulting in 1,719 patient referrals made to higher level health facilities; 36 health professionals (officers, clinical nurses, and midwives) participated in training in immunization, antenatal care, growth monitoring and PMTCT; 44 project-trained health extension workers screened 3,073 children for nutritional status of which 101 children were linked to therapeutic feeding centres to overcome malnutrition; 1,700 mothers and care givers have been reached with community based education on proper nutrition. These results are contributing to improving women and children’s access to quality maternal, newborn and child health services, and raising the awareness of women on issues that affect their health.