Ethiopia is one of the twenty countries with the highest number of neonatal deaths globally; with 55.77 per 1000 live births. In addition, maternal mortality rates are classified as high with 353 [range 247-567] maternal deaths per 100.000 live births. Proper health care during pregnancy, delivery and the newborn period are important for the health of the mother and newborn. This is dependent on the quality of care, the qualifications of healthcare providers and the knowledge and attitudes of community members. Limited knowledge among pregnant women is a major barrier towards the uptake of healthcare services in Ethiopia. In addition, delivery assisted by skilled providers is the most important proven intervention in reducing maternal mortality. However, only 1 in 10 women deliver with a skilled attendant and the proportion of births assisted by a skilled provider show large differences between rural and urban areas, with 7 percent in Afar to 86 percent in Addis Ababa
The aim of the Health[e]Families project is to improve knowledge on maternal and newborn health for healthcare professionals and community members in Ethiopia. This is done through blended e-learning and an mhealth intervention, targeting midwives and medical professionals and the community. The training program aims to deliver continuous professional accreditation to healthcare workers. To implement the training program and build capacity, Health[e]Foundation collaborates with the Ethiopian Medical Association, the Ethiopian Midwives Association and the Federal Ministry of Health.
In total 400 midwives and 400 medical doctors (gynecologists, obstetricians and general practicioners) will be trained with the Female and Family[e]Education course. In addition an SMS service has been developed to deliver information on maternal and newborn health to 4000 pregnant women and mothers of new borns. This mHealth intervention, named Lucy, is launched in 2017.
The Health[e]Families project is funded by the Dioraphte Foundation.