ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health has received essential medical and transport supplies from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to advance health care and safety for newborns and children in Ethiopia particularly the Benishangul-Gumuz and Afar regions.

The essential supplies, equipment and medicines will boost coverage and quality of skilled care for mothers and newborns during and immediately after delivery, postnatal care and case management of newborn and child illness.

In addition, the vital supplies will increase newborn and child health service utilization at primary health care level, strengthen the referral linkage for sick newborns and children as well as foster ownership of the maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) program by the public health sector.

The supplies entail 33 types of essential medical equipment, supplies and medicines for maternal, newborn and child health as well as motor motorcycles for the health centres to improve the supportive supervision, mentorship and linkages between health centres and health posts in the two regions.

Contributing to the advancement of international cooperation through various projects that build friendly and collaborative relationships and mutual exchanges between Korea and developing countries and support the economic and social development in developing countries

The high-priority medical supplies handed over to the Ministry of Health include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), hand-operated neonate resuscitators, oxygen cylinders, neonatal room thermometers, pulse oximeters, midwifery kit and equipment along with delivery beds.

The ministry also received sphygmomanometer, amoxicillin dispersible tablets, gentamicin injection, zinc, oral rehydration salt (ORS), benzyl penicillin injection, ampicillin injection, Yamaha motorcycles, and other essential supplies crucial for the survival and thrive of newborns, children and women.

The Ministry of Health procured the critical medical supplies for newborn health valued at US$600,000 from KOICA through UNICEF as part of the five-year project dubbed “Optimizing care for newborns and children in Benishangul-Gumuz and Afar regions, Ethiopia” for the period 2020-2044.

The health project launched in May 2020 targets 13 hospitals, 86 health centres and 516 health posts in Benishangul-Gumuz and Afar regions intended to benefit 57,436 pregnant women and newborn babies including 265,291 under-five children every year.

Under the project, 118 midwives have been trained and mentored in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care basic emergency, 198 health workers and 616 health extension workers have been trained on newborn and child health care and 349 centers have received post-training follow-up visits.

The scheme has also seen 152 hospitals and health centres receive standard catchment-based mentorship as well as 27 nurses and doctors trained in newborn intensive care management for sick and small newborn babies.

Additionally, the special project has ensured that 321 health facilities quality improvement teams have been trained on basic principles of quality improvement and 2449 community members have been trained on the basic principles of quality improvement.

The project seeks to improve access to essential, high-quality prenatal, delivery and immediate postnatal services for all mothers and newborns in the Benishangul-Gumuz and Afar regions in an effort to reduce morbidity and improve the quality of life.

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