16 November 2012

Ethiopia: Foundation Launches 'Stand Up for African Mothers' Campaign

Semera — African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) launched a 'Stand up For African Mothers' campaign aimed at reducing maternal death by 25 per cent by 2015 through the newly trained 15,000 midwives in Africa.

Speaking at the launching ceremony here yesterday, AMREF Director General Dr. Teguest Guerma said that the Foundation plans to train 15,000 midwives by 2015 to contribute to the reduction of maternal death by 25 per cent. She said: "One midwife can look after 500 mothers every year, and safely deliver 100 babies."

According to her, the campaign has been running for a year now, and one of the first countries to benefit from it is Ethiopia. "Already, AMREF has almost completed training of 60 midwives as part of the campaign. This first group will graduate in April 2013, while the second group of 60 students is to begin soon, she said. These trainees were recruited from Afar State and will work in the state which faces serious shortage of health workers.

Representing Federal Health State Minister Dr Kebede Worku, Meseret Yetubie said that the Ministry has been supporting the state in the effort to further reduce maternal and child mortality. "Thus," she said, "the Ministry backs the Stand Up for African Mothers Campaign which targets to train midwives."

Afar State Chief Esmail Ali Sero also said that the state, in collaboration with Ministry and other partners, has been working to reduce maternal and child deaths to attain the MDGs.

According to him, commendable results have been registered in the health sector in the state particularly in combating harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation.

AMREF has been operating in Afar for almost eight years. AMREF Ethiopia is currently enroling 223 midwifery trainees and two gynaecologists for Afar and South Omo. The campaign aims at coordinating ongoing efforts to bridge the HR gap in Ethiopia.

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