Read from a recent article and interview with CEO Mark Bennett on the importance of training midwives in saving mothers’ lives in Ethiopia.
Source: Trustlaw // Katy Migiro
MAPUTO (TrustLaw) – The world’s leading hospital in horrific childbirth injuries, known as fistula, is rolling out an ambitious midwife training programme aimed at cutting maternal mortality and preventing fistula.
The Hamlin Fistula Hospital in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa plans to deploy midwives to 25 locations in the country, which has one of the world’s worst maternal mortality rates.
Just four percent of women in Ethiopia give birth with the assistance of a skilled attendant. This is a major factor behind the high mortality rate – 673 in 100,000 women die in childbirth.
An additional 100,000 develop fistula every year, a devastating injury where women start leaking urine and/ or faeces uncontrollably. When women labour for many hours without getting a Caesarean section, the tissues die to pressure from the baby’s head, creating a hole, called a fistula.
In the last 10 months, the Hamlin has deployed the first graduate midwives, in pairs, from its new training centre to five health centres around the country.
Initial results are impressive, with 522 deliveries and 144 hospital referrals for Caesareans recorded since the deployment started.
The most successful health centre achieved 16 deliveries a month, up from an average of three. The target is to get each centre to carry out 25 deliveries a month.
Mark Bennett, Hamlin’s Chief Executive Officer, believes the model is a success because the government is already imitating it by deploying midwives in pairs, rather than alone, increasing supervisory support and seeking donor funds to buy 800 ambulances for health centres.