This animation presents highlights of recent research which found that a significant proportion of the decline may be attributed to the implementation of the government’s Health Extension Program (HEP).
In the early 1990s Ethiopia had one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. Government programmes since the early 2000s have aimed to tackle this resulting in a 70% decline in Ethiopia’s maternal mortality rate.
Findings suggest that Ethiopian health programme has prevented 40,000 maternal deaths
Ethiopia's Health Extension Program
The HEP was launched in 2003 to tackle Ethiopia’s high maternal mortality rate. It enabled an increase in the number of health posts and trained practitioners, as well as an increase in sanitation and educational facilities. In 2011, it was expanded to include the Women’s or Health Development Army (HDA), which involved the establishment of health development teams.
Researchers from the International Institute of Social Studies and Addis Ababa University assessed the effects of HEP and HDA on maternal mortality ratios in Ethiopia. Findings suggest that 37% of the decline in the maternal mortality rate may be attributed to the HEP and HAD, with approximately 40,000 deaths prevented.
The research was published in Social Science & Medicine and received financial support from the Trust Fund of Erasmus University Rotterdam.