Improving maternal and child health in Ethiopia – Life for Africa program. Matres Mundi
Two principle causes were defined in the identification of the present project with respect to the maternal and child health situation: lack of accessible, quality healthcare centers for the population and qualified health workers. In fact, there is not one public maternal and child health hospital in the whole of the African Union, Ethiopia or its capital Addis Ababa The Matres Mundi Project aims to cover the lack of training centers for health professionals and offer quality medical care to the mothers and children with limited resources in Addis Ababa.
With respect to maternal and child health in Ethiopia, the lack of access to a quality healthcare service has repercussions for both the children (1 out of every 10 dies before they are 5 years old) and the mothers whose health suffers particularly due to the high number of births (an average of 6) and the cultural practice of early marriage. The fact that 40% of the girls marry before they are 15 has a negative effect on their health (dystocic deliveries due to immature pelvises) and worsens their sociological and cultural situation.
The reduction of infant mortality and improvement in maternal health forms part of the agenda of the Ethiopian Government which is reflected in the Health Sector Development Plan (HSDP) carried out with the National Strategy for the Reduction of Poverty (NSRP) which serves as a framework of reference for the government, donors and co-operative actors. Even though the government has made a strong effort in the general area of health it must carry out more interventions in the field of maternal and child health where some figures are particularly scandalous: only 6% of births are assisted by trained personnel and child malnutrition reaches almost 50% of those aged under 5 years.
After the field work carried out by Matres Mundi in Addis Ababa two principal causes for the maternal and child health situation were identified: a lack of accessible, quality healthcare centers for the population and qualified health workers. There is not one public maternal and child health hospital in the whole of the African Union, Ethiopia or its capital Addis Ababa, there are only private clinics which are not affordable for most people. The increasing population of Addis Ababa, due to the permanent migration from the rural areas to the city, does not have any basic healthcare services and it is the women and children who are the most vulnerable collective in this situation. Meetings with local NGOs have even described women giving birth in the street due to lack of economic resources and social support.
With this project we will cover the lack of training centers for health workers and also offer quality medical care to the mothers and children of Addis Ababa with limited economic resources.