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Resolution of EPHA 21st Pre-Conference Panel Discussion on Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia

Introduction

EPHA in its 21st Annual conference deliberated on “Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia” on October 25.2010 at Mekelle is Martyr’s Hall. As a result of the panel discussions and post-panel group work, EPHA was able to further appreciate and deeper its understanding of the complexity and multifaceted nature of MNH in the country.
The goal of the panel discussion was to mobilize rally policy makers, professional associations, community and religious leaders for improving the health and wellbeing of mothers and newborns and thereby contributing to achieving the MDGs, in particular, goals 4 and 5 related to child and maternal health.
 
 
Objectives of the panel discussion included:

  • Increasing awareness on the status of maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia through evidence-based information;
  • Assessing and analyzing the role of community members, government and NGOs, development partners, teaching institutions, and professional associations and the contributions they could make to improve the MNH;
  • Identifying best practices for the purpose of scaling up;
  • Subsequent and through the panel  discussion to come up with recommendations or resolutions to be forwarded for consideration by policy makers and key stakeholders;
  • Setting down the requirements for the establishing a monitoring body to track progress towards meeting the MDGs;
  • Acknowledging the progress being made in reducing maternal and neonatal deaths in the country;
  • Recognizing the institutionalization of innovative community health services through the health extension programme (HEP);
  • By more aware of the problems and possible hindrances at community, facility, national health system levels, and the demand  for human resource to expedite progress to achieving MDG 4 and 5,
To that end, EPHA has therefore, passed the following resolutions and recommendations:

Recommendations

  • Strengthening the link between community and facility -based health services by designing, implementing and supervising an effective and efficient referral system.
  • Getting partners need to harmonize and coordinate their activities with government needs and priorities by:
  • Participating fully in government, woreda -based planning;
  • Forming or using existing coordinating mechanism form national to woreda levels;
  • Specifying measurable indicators to assess progress of partnership activities
  • Seeing to it that partners support competency -based training of service providers both in pre-service and in-service trainings.
  • As ensuring quality MNH services in rural health facilities is a resource intensive activity, development partners, donors and the
 

community should support on-going government efforts by availing the necessary resources.

  • Ensuring the quality of service delivery in general and maternal and newborn health service delivery in particular by:
  • provising health facilities with adequate and appropriate equipment and supplies;
  • training, motivation and retention of skilled health professionals;
  • improving institutional preparedness to provide quality MNH services.
  • There is a need to harmonize and intensify IEC/BCC activities to promote proper service utilization and a favourable care seeking behaviour and demand among the public.
  • Generate evidence-based information for decision making and action through multi-disciplinary operational research.
  • Harmonize and align all MNH activities of different stakeholders to tune all efforts and accelerate the progress to achieve MDGs and sustain them.
  • Strength family planning services by integrating into development activities and other health programs, as family planning is one of the most powerful tools to decrease maternal mortality and while increasing neonatal survival.
FMOH, EPHA,ESOG and other professional associations, working on maternal and neonatal health programs, should work closely to monitor progress towards achieving MDG 4 and 5 in the count-down towards 2015.