Tag Archives: Health care provider

Family Planning in Ethiopia

This week I am a guest of Save the Children on an observational trip in Ethiopia. I, along with three distinguished US nurses, are here to learn about Ethiopia’s frontline health workers, the 38,000 women strong health extension workers. The health extension workers were put into place by the Ethiopian government in 2003 and now through the work of Save the Children and other partners, health extension workers can diagnose and treat malaria, malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhea and can also administer implantable and injectable contraceptives.

You can learn more about frontline health workers on Save the Children’s new site: Every Beat Matters

In speaking with Dr. Birkety Mengistu, the Maternal Newborn Child Health Advisor at Save the Children’s Addis Ababa’s office, we learned that there is an ample supply of family planning options for any woman who wants it. There are, however, cultural taboos about contraceptives causing many women to forego family planning altogether. 

29% of married women in Ethiopia use family planning services according to Pathfinder. And according to Save the Children 30 – 40% of family planning needs are currently being unmet.

With the vast majority of Ethiopian still living as subsistence farmers and each woman having on average 4.8 children it is essential for women to not only have access to family planning, but also a shift in cultural imperatives that dissuade women from making decisions about their own lives.

To learn more about Save the Children’s work on family planning read: Every woman’s right: How family planning saves children’s lives (pdf).

Photo: United Nations

Do You Know an Amazing Health Worker?

Health workers are typically the unsung heroes around the world. They help women deliver their babies in health facilities, they treat babies who are too weak to thrive and even care for wounded civilians during time of war. Health workers assess our problems and patch us up the best they know how. And in developing countries where health workers are vital to the survival of communities their work is even more critical.

Save the Children along with Frontline Health Workers Coalition have created the REAL Awards where deserving United States-based health workers will be honored for the sacrifice and commitment they exhibit through their work.

If there is a doctor or nurse who inspires you be sure to nominate them for the REAL Awards. The deadline is today, November 29 – not too late to show someone you appreciate that you care.

Read more at www.therealawards.com/nominate.

Photo: Save the Children