Ethiopia Launches Emergency Obstetric Care Health Worker Training Program
Ethiopia has launched a three year program at Ayder Hospital in Mekele, Ethiopia, to train health workers to provide emergency obstetric surgery in an attempt to curb high maternal mortality rates, particularly in rural areas, the Sudan Tribune reports.
Monique Rakotomalala, the United Nations Population Fund representative in Ethiopia, said that the United Nations is backing the program. At a recent lunch ceremony, UNFPA donated eight ambulances worth a total of $360,000 to support the new program and regional health bureaus. The program will increase Ethiopia's capacity "to provide integrated emergency obstetrics and surgery" to Ethiopians who wouldn't otherwise have access to medical care, she said.
After health workers have completed the program, they will be equipped with the basic skills to provide comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care, including emergency surgery.
In Ethiopia-at least 25,000 women, mostly in rural areas, die each year because of obstetric complications, according to figures from UNFPA. In addition, about 500,000 Ethiopian women develop long-term injuries such as fistula (Tekle, Sudan Tribune, 4/14).
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