Project details / Health[e]Families Ethiopia

About this project

Ethiopia has a critical shortage of healthcare workers and the statistics for maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity in the country are alarming. Only 26% of live births were delivered with the assistance of a skilled provider and this figure was only 16% for uneducated mothers. Limited knowledge among pregnant women is a major barrier to the uptake of healthcare services in Ethiopia. With the Heath[e]Families project, Health[e]Foundation contributes to filling the knowledge gap. The Health[e]Families project in Ethiopia started in 2015, and continued until November 2019. The project focuses on educating health workers, as well as the community, on a variety of topics concerning maternal and neonatal health.

The project incorporates two components: (1) Female&Family[e]Education course, and; (2) LUCY mobile service.

  1. The Female&Family[e]Education course uses the blended learning model. It is offered in various cities and regions throughout the country, where our partner, the Ethiopian Midwives Association, is active. It covers topics such as postpartum hemorrhage, focused antenatal care, (pre-)eclampsia, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), newborns at risk and many more topics.
  2. LUCY, the m-health service is promoted actively as a tool for pregnant or lactating women and their families to gain essential knowledge about their pregnancy and their newborns. Examples of topics covered include: antenatal care visits; Water And Sanitation Hygiene (WASH); fetal development; healthy nutrition; danger signs; breastfeeding; birth preparedness; family planning; and vaccines.

Continuous and active monitoring and evaluation of the course and of the LUCY mobile service are an integral part of the project.

Who is this project for

The project targets midwives, medical professionals and the community. It aims to deliver continuous professional education to healthcare workers. The m-health service LUCY reaches pregnant women and the mothers of newborns, as well as their families, in the community.

Aim of the project

The aim of the Health[e]Families project is to improve knowledge about maternal and newborn health amongst healthcare professionals and community members in Ethiopia, in order to decrease maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

Between 2015 and 2019, >1000 healthcare workers were trained, and over 10,000 women enrolled in the LUCY mobile service.

Project activities

  • Workshops: one-day kick-off workshop and a two day follow-up workshop for each training program.
  • E-learning course: Female&Family[e]Education
  • M-health service: LUCY

Organization and partners

We have a strong and successful collaboration with the Ethiopian Midwives Association (EMwA), Ethiopia to implement this project. Our local team members in this project, Diriba Bekele and Ibrahim Yimer from EMwA, selected and continuously supported the participants throughout the training program and co-organized the workshops.

The LUCY mobile service was developed in cooperation with the Danish Maternity Foundation, which is now responsible for implementing the service in the Gimbie area. The technical part of the service is hosted by Viamo, who specialize in mobile engagement and Information and Communication Technology for Development.

Results of the project

Female&Family[e]Education: >1000 participants blended learning; 70% completion rate; 19% theoretical knowledge gain; 14% applied knowledge gain; Improved quality of care and position of midwives. LUCY voice and text service: 10,475 users; 57% used voice messages and 43% used the SMS function.

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Maternal and newborn health




2015 - 2019

Target group

Midwives, pregnant women and mothers of newborns

Course / service

Female&Family[e]Education course

Learning method

Blended learning

Financed by



Ethiopian Midwives Association (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Maternity Foundation (Denmark & Ethiopia), Viamo (Ethiopia)

Project Manager Alyanne Boon
Project officer

Diriba Bekele

CPD coordinator

Ibrahim Ymer