Upskilling Midwives and Improving their Work Organization

This project aims to address the midwifery skills gap and improve the way midwives organize their work. This project aims to address the midwifery skills gap and improve the way midwives organize their work. Copyright Sanofi

What are the health needs and challenges?

Ethiopia is one of five countries that together account for 50% of maternal deaths worldwide. Despite considerable efforts, the maternal mortality rate of 470/100,000 live births is still unacceptable. Only 10% of Ethiopian women deliver their infants with a skilled professional, 51% of hospitals offer comprehensive obstetric and neonatal emergency and 14% of health centers deliver obstetric care and basic neonatal emergency care.

The situation is compounded by disparities between different areas of Oromiya, including Arsi which is among the most disadvantaged in terms of obstetric care coverage, particularly in remote locations.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

This project, supported by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation, is driven by the importance of acting globally. It aims to address the midwifery skills gap and improve the way midwives organize their work, including infrastructure, facilities and medical equipment, transport of patients, etc.

The main thrusts of this project are:

  • Capacity building by upskilling the 184 midwives practicing in the Arsi area.
  • Improving the conditions for delivering care by renovating and equipping health centers in the area.
  • Improving the supply of obstetric care through a better geographical distribution of midwives.
  • Networking midwives and other professionals involved in maternal health, in partnership with the Association of Ethiopian midwives, in order to provide training, improve collaboration and professional solidarity, facilitate the planning of replacements and the supply of medicines and emergency medical equipment.
  • Rolling out two smartphone or tablet applications - "Partogram" and "Néonatogram" - as a decision-aid tool to help midwives improve the management of deliveries and of maternal and neonatal complications.


Partnership information

Company(ies) Sanofi

Partner(s) Ethiopian Midwives Association, Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Local hospitals & health centers & patient groups, School of Computing Information Systems, University College London, University Teaching Hospital of Assella, Women and Health Alliance International

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government, NGOs, Professional Associations

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Children's Health, Family Planning, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Obstetrics, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - mHealth, Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Health professionals, Marginalised / Indigenous People, Mothers, Women

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Ethiopia

Start Date 2013

More information Sanofi Espoir Foudation

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« When I went in the rural villages of Ethiopia, I realized what health meant for women who find it hard to benefit from medical assistance, and I was witness to their struggle. »

Dr. Mulu Muleta