Fighting against maternal and neonatal mortality

Upskilling midwives and improving their work organization

Midwives and doulas, two key professions for reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in the province of Kampong Speu in Cambodia
When I went in the rural villages of Ethiopia, I realized what health meant for women who find it hard to benefit from medical assistance, and I was witness to their struggle.Now, I am committed to doing everything in my power to ensure that these women receive the care they need when they need it.

Dr. Mulu Muleta

Location of Project Arsi area, Oromiya Region, Ethiopia
Name of Association Regional Program for Midwife Capacity Building
Women and Health Alliance (WAHA) International
Project Partners
(financial and operational)
  • University Teaching Hospital of Assella
  • Ethiopian Midwives Association
  • Ethiopian Ministry of Health
  • Regional Health Bureau
  • The Maternity/Neonatology Department of Bichat Hospital, Paris (France)
  • The Institute of Child Health
  • University College London (United Kingdom)
  • The School of Computing Information Systems

Program description

Ethiopia is one of five countries that together account for 50% of maternal deaths worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, the maternal mortality rate of 470/100,000 live births is still unacceptable. Only 10% of Ethiopian women deliver their infants with a skilled professional, 51% of hospitals offer comprehensive obstetric and neonatal emergency and 14% of health centers deliver obstetric care and basic neonatal emergency care.

The situation is compounded by disparities between different areas of Oromiya, including Arsi which is among the most disadvantaged in terms of obstetric care coverage, particularly in remote locations.

This project, supported by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, is driven by the importance of acting globally. It aims to address the midwifery skills gap and improve the way midwives organize their work (infrastructure, facilities and medical equipment, transport of patients, etc.).

    The main thrusts of this project are:

  • Capacity building by upskilling the 184 midwives practicing in the Arsi area
  • Improving the conditions for delivering care by renovating and equipping health centers in the area
  • Improving the supply of obstetric care through a better geographical distribution of midwives
  • Networking midwives and other professionals involved in maternal health, in partnership with the Association of Ethiopian midwives, in order to provide training, improve collaboration and professional solidarity, facilitate the planning of replacements and the supply of medicines and emergency medical equipment.
  • Rolling out two smartphone or tablet applications - "Partogram" and "Néonatogram" - as a decision-aid tool to help midwives improve the management of deliveries and of maternal and neonatal complications