News / Challenging but rewarding workshops in Ethiopia!

From the 2nd till the 16th of October Health[e]Foundation in collaboration with the Ethiopian Medical Association and Ethiopian Midwives Association had planned to organize two follow-up workshops in Addis Ababa and Adama and two kick-off workshop in Bahir Dar and Hawassa. Unfortunately due to unrest in the area we had to cancel the first follow-up workshop in Adama. The follow-up workshop in Adama will likely be postponed to January 2017.

The follow-up workshop in Addis Ababa took place on 5 and 6 October. The workshops started with an extensive evaluation of the course through focus group discussions. Even though many participants faced challenges with viruses on their USB stick, they were very positive about the course and provided useful feedback for improvement.

“It is an interesting, useful and time sensible way of training and should be given to more healthcare workers.”

After the lunch break the participants took part in the Helping Mothers Survive skills training from Jhpiego, which was facilitated by midwives from the Ethiopian Midwives Association. The skills training focused on managing the third stage of labor and paid specific attention to postpartum hemorrhage, which is one of the main causes of maternal mortality in Ethiopia. The skills training was alternated with lectures on respectful maternity care, postpartum hemorrhage, communication, mentoring and mHealth (text messages). The follow-up workshop ended with a cheerful ceremony whereby participants received their certificate from Sintayehu Abebe of the Ministry of Health. Many of the participants were eager to mentor one of their colleagues with the course and were given an extra USB stick and instructions on how to be a good mentor.

Due to the state of emergency, which was declared on Sunday the 9th of October, Health[e]Foundation had to leave Ethiopia earlier than expected. We were very happy to hear that the Ethiopian Midwives Association and the Ethiopian Medical Association were willing and able to conduct the kick-off workshop in Bahir Dar as planned and train 53 participants. On Friday the 14th of October they organized the kick-off workshop in Hawassa and trained 53 healthcare workers. We are very grateful for this strong partnership and would like to thank EMA and EMwA for their support in organizing the kick-off workshops!

From November onwards the mHealth text messages service will be available in both English and Amharic. Healthcare workers will promote the mHealth service and help pregnant women or new mothers to enroll themselves for the free service and receive educational messages on safe pregnancy, ANC reminders and motherhood.