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Celebrating success: new maternity ward opens in Ethiopian health centre

POSTED April 21, 2022

Celebrating success: new maternity ward opens in Ethiopian health centre

See how a Children Believe project is changing lives in a community that’s become home to internally displaced moms

By Christina Beeston, planned giving manager

Crowd gathers as new maternity ward opens in Ethiopia

We have good news! Moms and moms-to-be living in the Oromia area of Ethiopia can now rely on safe maternal healthcare following the completion of a special project funded by our kind donors.

Why is maternal healthcare support needed in this rural Ethiopian region?

The opening of the expanded healthcare centre, with a new maternity ward, gives more women in this rural region access to trained professionals. It was much needed, as maternal health stats from Ethiopia’s “2016 Demographic and Health Survey” were grim:

It’s why our Ethiopia team has focused on maternal health in the region in recent years, encouraging more women to deliver their babies with healthcare workers, rather than at home.

Prior to the launch of the project, the Oromia region was coping with a large number of Ethiopians migrating to the area, fleeing internal conflict elsewhere in the country.

This influx of people placed a great strain on patients and staff at the clinic, due to extreme overcrowding, as well as poor medical equipment, rooms and insufficient supplies for expectant moms.

How moms-to-be are accessing the maternal care they need in Ethiopia

We knew change was needed, so we asked donors to help raise $50,000 to construct a three-room maternity ward, as part of an existing clinic.

Given the community’s needs and Children Believe’s efforts, local government contributed to equipping the centre with essential items, including:

  • beds and exam tables: obstetric bed, baby cot, gynecological examination table, examination bed for postnatal and prenatal services
  • equipment and machines: blood-pressure apparatus, ICU machine, materials for minor operations
  • tools and medicine: bag valve mask, delivery kit, stethoscope, delivery emergency medication

Two women win masks stand near two beds

And, the generous response from our donors helped us exceed our goal! We built a larger building (adding 10 rooms, instead of the planned three) so that more life-saving services can be offered:

  • after-birth care: safe food and water, proper hygiene, psychological care
  • nutritional counselling: supporting breastfeeding, maternal and baby health
  • resources: access to birth control and family planning

The new 10-room maternity ward has been supporting the community of 4,000 children and 11,000 women, including internally displaced people as well as expectant and new moms in the Oromia region, since Fall 2021.

One women in lab coat stands by hospital bed, another stands by another machine

Our donors and partners continue to make a difference today and in the future

We want to thank our local program team, implementing partners, the Ethiopian government and caring Canadian donors for giving more women the chance to access safe, professional maternal healthcare.

Donate to help sustain projects like these. Give the gift of a newborn starter kit to help moms-to-be and newborns access the healthcare they need. 

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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