Maternal health

Around 70% of all births in Ethiopia occur outside healthcare facilities.

For many women, especially in rural regions, there is no choice but to give birth at home without the assistance of trained midwives. Important progress is being made to improve maternal healthcare, yet maternal mortality rates remain high.

We believe every woman should be able to access maternal healthcare and have choices in childbirth

By improving access to maternal health services, our partners are saving the lives of mothers and babies and preventing devastating childbirth injuries like obstetric fistula.

Strengthening maternal healthcare

We partner with local organisations who provide life-saving maternal healthcare and support for women across Ethiopia. Through their projects, they are:

If you have any questions about the projects run by our network of maternal health partners’ please do get in touch.

Maternal health

Our impact 2022-23 

278 medical professionals trained in the management and prevention of fistula, so that thousands more women can live free of fistula

354 women were cured of obstetric fistula, a devastating childbirth injury, and could rejoin their communities with confidence

209 community leaders educated on fistula and its prevention, bringing vital care to women in rural areas

Impact stories

Our partners

Atsede Clinic’s ‘Midwives on the Move’ project provides home visits to pregnant women living in the mountainous terrain of the Gurage Zone. Many of the women they work with either aren’t able to travel to health facilities for antenatal appointments, or do not think they are important enough. Alongside the antenatal, delivery and postnatal care they provide, they are working to change attitudes in communities, emphasising the importance of maternal health care and empowering women to make informed decisions about their own health. Atsede’s Maternity Clinic was founded by 2019 International Midwife of the Year, Atsede Kidane, and British midwife Indie McDowell.

Healing Hands of Joy’s mission is to see obstetric fistula eliminated from Ethiopia. They work to prevent this devastating childbirth injury, to find women with fistula and refer them for treatment, and to rehabilitate women who are recovering, helping them reintegrate in their community. Through their Safe Motherhood Ambassador programme, women who have been cured return to their communities to identify new cases of fistula and educate expectant mothers on safe delivery. HHOJ also works on a wider community level, hosting workshops, training religious leaders, holding film screenings and educating men and women, to raise awareness and change attitudes towards this socially-isolating condition.

Hope of Light provides obstetric fistula treatment at 3 Fistula Centres in Gondar, Jimma and Assela. The organisation was founded by Dr Ambaye WoldeMichael, a renowned fistula surgeon, who was originally trained by Dr Catherine Hamlin. HOL provides medical supplies for fistula care, trains doctors in fistula surgery, raises awareness of fistula with health professionals and her team provides care and support for the women they treat through pre- and post-operative counselling.

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