Successes in the Malga District, Ethiopia
More mothers and babies are surviving and thriving in Ethiopia.
Women’s health groups, set up by Women and Children First, our partner Family Guidance Association Ethiopia (FGAE) and funded by Comic Relief and our supporters, have vastly raised awareness of health risks, improved people’s wellbeing, and helped communities find ways to overcome their problems.
The Problems and The Solutions
In Ethiopia, 1 in 283 births end in a woman dying from preventable and treatable diseases. That’s a rate over 36 times higher than the UK.
To save lives and improve health, 174 women’s groups were created. These groups identify the most pressing health problems and find answers to overcome them. Over 12,300 women and men joined them.
Additionally, over 450 health workers received important training, an ambulance was provided, along with solar power and wells, to vastly improve local health services.
Together women and the communities, empowered by the groups, addressed major health problems. This included diarrhoea, haemorrhage during childbirth and malnutrition.
Birkinesh’s Story: Fixing Roads to Get Women to Hospital
In the Malga District, roads from remote villages to health facilities are often hard to use. Many women have to give birth at home, without a skilled attendant, putting their lives at risk.
Birkinesh explains: “When I had my first child, I didn’t have anyone to support me during my labour. There wasn’t any transport to get me there, it would’ve been over 2 hours walk.”
The community worked together to stop that happening again.
Women and Children First Trustee John Davis visited the Malga District to see some of the women’s health groups meet.
See the group in action. John talks about how “awe-inspiring” it is to see the groups come together to find answers to overcome their health problems.
John also talks about the sustainability of the groups. It is expected that over 80% of the women’s health groups will be self-sustainable, continuing to meet together after Women and Children First finish their work in the District.