Get Adobe Flash player


Distance learning programs can upgrade the skills of midwives and reduce their isolation.

In rural areas with AMREF

Senegal is facing a general shortage of qualified nursing staff, especially midwives - there are just two per 1,000 births. Maternal mortality remains high due to the barriers raised against access to care for poor populations in remote areas. One in two women still give birth without any skilled assistance. And some 200 experience everyday complications when birthing, thereby risking both their own and their child’s lives.

Photo : In Senegal, ICTs are a valuable tool for giving midwives the benefits of distance learning.

First regional e-learning certificate

As one of AMREF special partners and a committed supporter of the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation is participating in setting up the first regional e-learning certificate, primarily intended for midwives in rural areas. Through distance learning supplemented by practical training, these women can obtain the skills required by the new quality standards promulgated by the West African Health Organization (W.A.H.O.). After the four-year pilot program in Senegal, a total of 2,400 nurses and midwives benefited from a skills upgrade.

This program will then extend to Côte d'Ivoire, where health structures have seriously deteriorated after years of instability and armed conflict.


Boosting midwives’ skills to improve the continuity and quality of healthcare.

In 6 regions with C.A.M. and T.A.M.A.

In Tanzania, there are an estimated 14,000 maternal deaths a year, and the neonatal mortality rate is 34 per 1,000 live births. Only 5% of the clinics provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care. To boost the capacity of 300 midwives practicing in rural areas, the Foundation is supporting the creation of continuing education workshops in obstetric emergencies co-led by Tanzanian and Canadian midwives. To enhance continuity of care between home and the health center, the project also plans to create a link between community health workers and retired midwives who will take responsible for supervising them and providing technical support.


Smartphone and tablet applications to help midwives make the right decisions.

In the Arsi region with WAHA

In this country, only 10% of women give birth in the presence of a skilled health worker, and the maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world. The Foundation is supporting its Women And Health Alliance International partner to upskill 184 midwives and 1,000 auxiliaries working in remote areas, renovate the 42 most outlying health centers, and intensify networking between midwives and other health professionals, while introducing mobile phone applications to help in decision-making.

Advocacy operations will also raise awareness among health authorities about improvements in working conditions.

Ethiopia is one of five countries accounting for 50% of maternal deaths worldwide. Only 1 in 10 women give birth in the presence of a skilled attendant.