Ethiopia reduces maternal mortality by over 30 percent

(EBC; October 3, 2017)- Ethiopia has reduced maternal mortality by more than 30 percent in five years with 412 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016 due to preventable causes.

In an exclusive interview with EBC Sintayehu Abebe, Maternal, Adolescent, and Youth Health Team Leader at the Ministry of Health said maternal mortality is still high in Ethiopia like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa but has significantly dropped over the years from 600/100,000 in 2011 to 412/100,000 in 2016.

The official attributed the decline to government's interventions and commitment through expanding  emergency obstruct care service during labour at which skilled birth attendants help mothers in thousands of health facilities across the country.

He pointed out that "enhanced knowledge of mother on Antenatal and postnatal care, provided by tens of thousands of health extension workers and other community interventions mainly in rural parts of the country also has contributed to reduce of maternal mortality in the country"

The country had planned to reduce maternal mortality by 75 percent in 2015 but managed to achieve 72 percent, Sintayehu added.

The East African nation aspires to reduce maternal mortality to 199/ 100,000 live births in 2020 and 70 or less by 2030 in line with the target set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The team leader believes causes of most of maternal deaths are preventable and WHO's target is attainable with expansion of antenatal and postnatal care and services and equipping mothers and midwives with necessary knowledge and skills.

Reporter: Muluneh Gebre