Maternal Child Health

IFA has historically worked on newborn care by partnering with government hospitals in Ethiopia to build the capacity of health facilities by providing much needed medical equipment and supplies. Today, Yekatit 12 hospital, one of the hospitals IFA worked with closely and which was since then recognized as a center of excellence in newborn care. 

Currently as part of its capacity development and rural health system strengthening program IFA is building on its achievements in the past by focusing on safe motherhood programs. This program addresses the issues of clean and safe deliveries, essential obstetric care, and preventable death and disability among mothers, expectant mothers and newborns by promoting institutional delivery and skilled birth attendant.

IFA in 2021 launched the baby Kit project which is an interventions aimed at increasing uptake of maternal health services that address both the demand and availability of quality services. One incentive with a proven success record is the provision of postnatal Baby Kits containing essential items for newborns for mothers who come to the Maternal Waiting Homes. The baby kit will contain essential health and hygiene items to give babies a healthy start in life. These kits help improve the mothers’ and babies’ lives giving babies a good start in life. 

Baby Kits serve to mitigate one of the factors that hindered pregnant women from delivering at health facilities, which is the embarrassment of mothers who lack of baby wrapper – in some settings this was cited as the biggest challenge by mothers. With this “wonder kits”, mothers mobilize fellow mothers. IFA to date has distributed 200 baby kits at 4 health centers in North Shewa.

Rural Ethiopia currently has one of the lowest skilled birth attendant rates at 28% according to EDHS 2016. It is a well-established fact that access to institutional delivery reduces the risk of complications and infections that result in high maternal and neonatal death rates.

To facilitate access to institutional delivery many rural health centers in Ethiopia have constructed maternal waiting homes. These Maternal Waiting Homes allow pregnant women who live in remote areas, where medical facilities and trained medical professionals are not available, to come to a clean and safe environment in anticipation of their deliveries. 

Additionally IFA from its inception to date obtains and donates much needed biomedical equipment to rural health facilities to build the capacity and strengthen the health care system in Ethiopia.