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Health in Africa
Ethiopia project provides a community model for saving lives

When the bleeding started without labor, Birhane Simeneh suspected something was wrong. But having been prepared for such a possibility, Simeneh, a 40-year-old mother of six, knew to seek medical care for the complication right away. Her informed decision likely saved her and her baby’s lives.

Simeneh, who lives in rural Amhara, Ethiopia, learned about the dangers of late pregnancy hemorrhage through the Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia Partnership (MaNHEP), a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded, $8.1 million project at the School of Nursing. To help demonstrate a community-oriented model for improving maternal and newborn survival in Ethiopia, MaNHEP works with pregnant women and frontline health workers to build knowledge and skills in the delivery of a basic package of life-saving maternal and newborn health care during the critical period from birth through the first 48 hours of life.

In addition to training, MaNHEP supports quality improvement (QI) teams to strengthen those systems needed for maternal and newborn health (MNH) care. They include systems for identifying pregnant women should complications arise and notifying health workers of births in order that care can be delivered in time, every time.

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