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Ethiopia Nurse Midwife Program:

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The VHP – Ethiopia Nurse Midwife Program: An Analysis of Test Scores, 2021 – 2023 (with implications for mentoring) by Peter Van Arsdale, VHP (Executive Summary, December, 2023) Introduction: As noted in the Village Health Partnership (VHP) October, 2021, trip report, a number of nurse midwives (NMWs) in the remote Suri region of s.w. Ethiopia’s West Omo Zone (WOZ) were not passing the most basic skill checks.  Others also were struggling.  Five from Suri were sent to the Mizan Tepi University Teaching Hospital (MTUTH) for training, but failed the certification test.  At that time, in consultation with our MTUTH colleague… Read More »Ethiopia Nurse Midwife Program:

Pregnancy in Conflict Zones

Setyelem, a 29-year-old mother of two, faced a harrowing journey during her third pregnancy in Ethiopia. Due to inter-communal fighting in her hometown of Ataye and the subsequent war in Tigray, she couldn’t attend antenatal check-ups, risking potential complications. The conflict damaged health facilities, leading to shortages of essential medical supplies and disrupted hospital referrals. At seven months pregnant, Setyelem experienced intense pain and sought medical attention twice after her water broke. Thanks to a Abiyot, a midwife trained under a United Nations Population Fund project, she was rushed to a hospital where an emergency Caesarean section was performed, after… Read More »Pregnancy in Conflict Zones

The Safe Clinic Toolkit

Using Data to Monitor, Evaluate, and Reflect on Our Work It is vital that the work we are doing in rural southwestern Ethiopia is monitored and evaluated so that we may learn what is working, what is not, and what the path forward should be. To this end, Village Health Partnership has launched a new app with our longtime partner, Water Engineers for the Americas and Africa (WEFTA). The app, called the Safe Clinic Toolkit, is a data collection tool that monitors and evaluates infrastructure for WASH (Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene), infection prevention controls, equipment and supplies, and clinical skills,… Read More »The Safe Clinic Toolkit

Maternity Waiting Areas

In rural Ethiopia, pregnant women seeking assistance with delivery often have to travel long distances over rough terrain through areas of active conflict to access care. When they arrive at their destination, there is nowhere for them to stay. Healthcare clinics are in remote areas and beds are typically reserved for patients actively delivering babies or experiencing complications. Our early needs assessments revealed that pregnant women, if they are able to make the journey to a healthcare facility, are often forced to sleep outside under trees, in the rain with no food or water, as they go into labor and… Read More »Maternity Waiting Areas

In From The Field

Greetings to you from Aira. Thank you very much for your email. I am sorry for being silent for so long. I was out in field for mobilization, screening and sending women with gynecological complication of childbirth to Aira. In the field/in rural areas, there was/is no access to internet connection at all. Whenever, I was back to my home/Office, there was no either internet connection or Dembi Dollo was in blackout.  I am very happy that STTP 2023 is in an excellent progress. So far, more than 175 and 15 had been treated (including those treated in excess under… Read More »In From The Field

Conversations with Together Women Rise

Village Health Partnership is honored to be the May 2023 featured grantee of Together Women Rise, “a powerful community of women and allies dedicated to achieving global gender equality.” Together Women Rise is funding VHP’s Skill Check, Training, and Mentorship Program and our BEMONC training in 2023 and 2024. Read more about how they are supporting VHP and other organizations working towards gender equality. Watch Laury Bowman, Chair of the VHP Board of Directors, and Kaye Wattawa, Development Coordinator, have a conversation with Quinn Hayes of Together Women Rise about Village Health Partnership and its programs: In this video, Laury… Read More »Conversations with Together Women Rise

Alone on the Front Lines

In the rural areas of Ethiopia, nurse midwives face the crisis in maternal health alone.  Most pregnant women receive no antenatal care. Most women deliver at home, and many die in childbirth. Many more infants die. There are no doctors, and the nearest hospital is hours away. Nurse midwives, with minimal education, no supervision or mentorship and little in the way of equipment and supplies, deliver babies in rural health facilities. If the delivery is complicated, babies often die and sometime mothers die. Supporting Nurse Midwives Through Mentorship In 2021, we tested nurse midwives working in health facilities in the West Omo Zone, one… Read More »Alone on the Front Lines

Addressing a Critical Need: Solar Power for The Bachuma District Hospital

The Bachuma District Hospital is located in the town of Bachuma in the West Omo Zone (WOZ) of southwestern Ethiopia. The hospital provides labor and delivery services to pregnant women who live in surrounding communities. Recently, the hospital began providing emergency obstetric care, i.e. caesarian sections, to pregnant women in distress. In fact, the hospital is the only medical facility in the WOZ, home to 700,000 people, that is able to provide women in the Zone with this critical lifesaving service. Improvements Already Made When we first visited the hospital in 2016, it was just an empty concrete shell of… Read More »Addressing a Critical Need: Solar Power for The Bachuma District Hospital

Challenges and Successes Of The Screen, Transport, and Treat Program

While news from Ethiopia is dominated by the conflict in Tigray, there is also horrific ongoing violence in the western Ethiopian state of Oromia, where Village Health Partnership conducts the Screen, Transport, and Treat (STT) Program. The Ethiopian federal government and the Oromo Liberation Army continue to clash over who should hold power in the region, leaving a trail of violence that, as so often happens in armed conflict, has had a devastating impact on women and girls. With the increased violence, access to healthcare is limited at best.  As a result, more women are giving birth at home, more… Read More »Challenges and Successes Of The Screen, Transport, and Treat Program

VHP Featured in Think Global Health Piece

Susan Barnett met Mecca on a trip to Ethiopia with Village Health Partnership in 2016. Mecca touched her heart and exposed the deep poverty and lack of access to healthcare that women in rural Ethiopia face. Read Susan’s article, Preventable but Prevalent: An Injury Affecting Millions of Mothers, about Mecca and women like her, who suffer preventable injuries associated with childbirth.