Ministry Pushes to Expand Ethiopia’s Midwife Workforce

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia is set to expand its trained Midwives workforce by at least 11, 000 next year as part of its efforts to enhance access to healthcare to the public.

The Ministry of Health says trained midwifery workforce is growing year by year in the country with a plan to provide a midwife for every pregnant woman.

Currently, there are only 18, 000 trained midwives in Africa’s second-most populous nation with an estimated 111 million people.

Despite the annual increase, the number of trained midwives remains low as compared to other countries, said Dr. Lia Tadesse, minister of health.

Several activities are now ongoing to bring their total to 29,000 next year without compromising quality, the minister said.

Dr. Lia announced this while speaking at the 30th General Meeting of the Ethiopian Midwives Association.

The association held the meeting on Friday under the theme ‘Focus for mothers, children and youth in every circumstance’, during which, it recognized persons that contributed for reduction of maternal and child mortality in the nation.

Reports say Ethiopia has a maternal mortality rate of 412 per 100,000 live births and child mortality rate of 67 per 1,000 – figures that are still too high.

Compared to two decades ago however, both maternal and child mortality by half. Experts attribute this to the country’s commitment to training more midwives and expanding their roles in the community.

Officials believe that they will remain key in the efforts to further reduce the mortality rates and help the country meet the targets set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Midwives play a key role in improving the health of mothers, infants, children & adolescents enhancing better access to quality healthcare in our efforts to achieve SDGs,” Health Minister Dr. Lia said.

The SDG targets a reduction in neonatal mortality to at least 12 per 1000 live births, under-5 mortality to 25 per 1000 live births and maternal mortality ratio (MMR)1 to a global level of 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030.