Save the Children report figure incorrect

Tigrai Online
April. 01 2011


Their press release mistakenly claims that 94% of women in Ethiopia currently “give birth without trained help”, a UNICEF report figure quoted for 2005-9. This is wholly misleading and does not reflect the growing trend in health assistance and the enormous amount of work that has been done on the ground in the past six years in particular.

In fact, the correct figure for women having access to birth attendants is currently 30% which will rise to 48% next year and to 60% by the MDG5 target year of 2015.

Ethiopia has trained and deployed over 33,800 rural health extension workers, most of whom are women, and two health extension workers are assigned per village. These women are making a difference in terms of improving essential health service coverage. For instance, family planning coverage jumped from 14 percent in 2005 to 55 percent in 2010. The health workers also offer an excellent role model for young girls.

The Ethiopian Government is aggressively expanding the construction of primary health centres. As a result we have increased the number of primary health centres from 640 in 2005 to over 4,000 by the beginning of 2011. Hospitals numbered 79 in 2005 and there are now 111. A vast improvement and one which requires recognition.

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