Increasing Maternal and Newborn Survival in Ethiopia

Lynn Sibley

In Ethiopia, 22,000 women and 100,000 newborns die annually from complications of childbirth.

An innovative project—led by researchers from the Lillian Carter Center—is strengthening community-based health systems to ensure that all women and newborns receive effective maternal and newborn care services in Ethiopia.

The project, called the Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP), integrates training with quality improvement activities to build systems for the delivery of maternal and newborn health care.

“No woman should die giving birth knowing what we know today. We’re confident that our model can help transform the way women and newborns receive essential care,” said Lynn Sibley, a researcher at the Lillian Carter Center.

Working in rural Amhara and Oromiya Regions, MaNHEP trains frontline health workers, such as traditional birth attendants, in a basic package of life-saving maternal and newborn care that can significantly improve survival. Pregnant women are also taught to recognize the signs of pregnancy and labor complications.

Emebet Bedede, a 19-year-old mother who lives in rural Oromiya, credits the knowledge she gained through MaNHEP for enabling her to recognize the danger signs of prolonged labor. As such a complication can result in death, Bedede acted quickly and called MaNHEP-trained frontline health workers who referred her to the local health post for care. Bedede was later diagnosed with a congested pelvis and delivered a healthy boy through Caesarean section.

“Without this knowledge,” she said. “I would have been one of those who died of labor complications.”

MaNHEP is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



Scan this code to hear Dr. Lynn Sibley explain how she’s working to improve maternal and newborn survival in Ethiopia.


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