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Provide safe childbirth for expectant mothers in Ethiopia

ID:
11631

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Our goal
Help end avoidable deaths of mothers and babies during childbirth in the Simien Mountains
The Challenge

88% of mothers in the Simien Mountains give birth at home without professional medical care

Ethiopia ranks 174th in terms of UN Human Development Indicators, including maternal and neonatal mortality rates. These rates are even worse in the Simien Mountains where 88% of women still give birth at home, without a professional midwife, due the lack of health awareness and barriers to accessing healthcare services. The expected 28,650 childbirths this year will result in death for more than 190 mothers and 1,490 newborns due to lack of access to professional midwifery services.

Accessing healthcare services remains low due to poor health awareness as well as the physical challenge of reaching the nearest health center which may require a day or more, by mule, on foot or by stretcher, over long distances, across difficult mountain terrain due to the lack of roads and transportation. These barriers contribute to a life of poor health and too often result in needless deaths from treatable diseases and conditions, especially among mothers and babies during childbirth.

Our Solution

Improve access to quality maternal and natal healthcare for remote villages in the Simien Mountains

We started this project in 2011 after trekking in the Simiens and seeing the poor state of health and the lack of healthcare services. Our solution was to help fill critical gaps, build capacity and promote better standards in healthcare. We have built a clinic, deployed mobile medical teams to remote communities, trained 14 BSc midwives who are now serving in local health centres, and established “Doctors for the Simien Mountains” to bring in doctors to work in the project area.

Our mobile medical teams reach 30 of the most remote communities in the Simien Mountains and see over 3,000 patients and provide health education to more than 5,000 family members each month. Our clinic provides essential health services to more than local 14,400 residents and treats roughly 750 patients, including 24/7 emergency care and deliveries, each month. 27% of local women now deliver at the clinic, compared to 11% across the region, but to there are still barriers to overcome.

Building a maternal waiting home at our clinic will allow expectant mothers from remote communities to come to the clinic one to two weeks prior to their delivery and stay in a supported environment where they can be monitored for any risks or complications, and if necessary evacuated to the regional hospital, in order to ensure a safe delivery. This has proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming the main physical and economic barriers to accessing professional delivery services.

Your Impact

Your donation will help save the lives of mothers and babies from rural villages during childbirth.

Your donation will enable us to build a maternal waiting home next to our clinic and make it possible for expectant mothers from remote villages to stay for free in a safe and clean environment, while receiving critical antenatal care until they deliver in the clinic or are referred to the regional hospital. Building the home will help overcome the physical, economic and social barriers that prevent expectant mothers from accessing professional delivery services and going through childbirth at

Pledge spending
  • 80% -

    Construction costs

  • 13% -

    Meals for 12 months

  • 7% -

    Furnishings and housewares

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Our milestones

Learn more about this project

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  • Marilee

  • Derek

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