The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health

Ethiopia

Country Programs

Ethiopia  
 

One of our first projects in Global Women’s Health began in Ethiopia. The very high maternal mortality rate in that country has directed our program there:  to make obstetric care accessible through the training of health providers.  Ninety-five percent of women in Ethiopia deliver at home with no medically trained attendant.   This accounts in large part for an Ethiopian woman's risk of death due to obstetric causes of 1 in 16.   Our focus has been on teaching obstetric care to medical providers, including health officers, nurses and midwives. We have worked at 3 primary sites, all in rural Ethiopia:  a newly launched medical school, a publicly supported maternity center and a more rural donor-funded community maternity center. A yearly conference, large portions of which are devoted to obstetrics, has been held at the Hawassa Medical School with enormously positive response.  Current research proposals include measuring the effect of transportation (or lack thereof) on maternal and fetal outcome, review of the causes of stillbirth with the goal of informing the design of prevention strategies, and the introduction of a training program for recognition of obstetric emergencies by health extension workers (women with one year of health training after 10th grade.)  While our work thus far has centered on obstetrics, there is a clear opportunity to impact women's lives in Ethiopia through family planning and gynecologic care as well.

 

 

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