There are a variety of partners in Ethiopia working with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) to support priority health sector initiatives. The FMOH has exhibited enormous commitment to improving maternal and newborn health and more recently, PTB/LBW outcomes. The platform for this important work in Ethiopia is the district (woreda) Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) which extends from the community to the district hospital level in rural areas, and from the community to tertiary hospital level in urban areas.

To strengthen PHCU services for mothers and newborns the FMOH is strengthening neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in district hospitals and setting up newborn care corners in facilities with labor and delivery services, as well as the integrated management of newborn and child illnesses and basic emergency obstetric and newborn care. At the same time, the FMOH is scaling their community-based newborn care package (CBNC) across the country as part of their broader Health Services Extension Program. Implementation of the CBNC package in rural areas is led by the country’s community-based Health Extension Workers (HEWs) and their network, the Health Development Army.  In urban areas, the Urban Health Extension Training program is working with nurses and urban HEWs.

Every Preemie has partnered with St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College and the FMOH to test the strength of implementation of multi-partner district models in three distinct geographic locations in the country—Chilga district in the Amhara region (settled), Dolo Mena district in the Oromia region (semi-settled), and Kolfe sub-city, Addis Ababa (urban).

To evaluate the strength of implementation, Every Preemie is working with in-country stakeholders to develop a learning agenda that will:

  • Measure the effect the initiatives and interventions are having on improved PTB/LBW outcomes;
  • Examine variabilities in implementation in rural (settled and semi-settled) and urban locations; and
  • Provide recommendations to the FMOH on an effective essential package of PTB/LBW interventions for national scale-up.