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Promoting Safe Motherhood in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia (IMCHA)

This project aims to support community-based services that will improve maternal health in Ethiopia, a country with some of the worst health indicators in sub-Saharan Africa. Women's use of maternal and child health services has significant gaps between urban and rural areas.

Healthy mothers, healthy babies
The Government of Ethiopia is committed to improving maternal health. While some key indicators have improved, maternal mortality has not decreased significantly. The Ethiopian Health Department data suggests many of these maternal and neonatal deaths arise from home births in the absence of a skilled and experienced birth attendant. Strengthening community-based services is therefore important to ensure that mothers have access to services that result in safer deliveries.

Technology, communication, skills development
This project will implement interventions such as:
-training traditional birth attendants and equipping them with mobile phones
-developing communication and education strategies for religious leaders and men
-developing healthcare worker skills for safe deliveries

The project team will evaluate the use of improved maternal waiting areas and health extension worker practitioners for their impact on maternal health outcomes. The research will be carried out in close partnership with the Ethiopian Health Department. Researchers will identify interventions that are the most effective at improving maternal and child health services with a view to scale up nationally.

The project team will produce policy and media briefs, articles, and a project website to share information about the project and their findings.

Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa
This project is part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program, a seven-year $36 million initiative funded by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
54 months
IDRC Officer
Sana Naffa
Total Funding
CA$ 980,800.00
Global Health
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
Lakew Gebretsadik Abebebe
Jimma University
Institution Country
Project Leader
Ronald Labonte
University of Ottawa/Université d'Ottawa



Factors associated with maternity waiting home use among women in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia : a multilevel cross-sectional analysis


Uncovering spatial variation in maternal healthcare service use at subnational level in Jimma zone, Ethiopia


How do community health actors explain their roles? : exploring the roles of community health actors in promoting maternal health services in rural Ethiopia


Promoting equity in maternal, newborn and child health - how does gender factor in? : perceptions of public servants in the Ethiopian health sector