The Mizan Tepi University Teaching Hospital (MTUTH) plays a critical role in the health system of Southwestern Ethiopia. The hospital’s rural catchment area extends into both the Bench Sheko Zone and West Omo Zone along the Sudan border.
The facility serves more than 1.8 million people with one obstetrician, two emergency surgeons, and more than fifteen nurse-midwives. Women travel for miles to reach the hospital in hopes of a safer delivery there than they would have at home.
We are working in collaboration with the MTUTH and Margo Harrison, MD, MPH from the University of Colorado, to do clinical research that aims to evaluate the efficacy of obstetric care in the hospital.
The goal is to improve care and build the MTUTH into a regional center of excellence for maternal health.
Dr. Harrison, the CEO of the MTUTH, and key physicians in the hospital looked at the use of operative vaginal birth (OVB) techniques on labor and delivery. OVB refers to the use of forceps or vacuum to assist with vaginal birth. These procedures can be an alternative to cesarean delivery. They published their findings in the article linked below.
The paper reveals that, despite the fact that OVB is used infrequently in the hospital, forceps, and vacuum-assisted delivery are performed effectively even in a rural hospital with limited resources such as the MTUTH.
When speaking about the publication, Dr. Harrison noted that she was pleased with the results of the paper. She feels that the research indicates that the MTUTH is doing a good job when it comes to the management of labor and delivery in spite of severe resource constraints.
“I think that the MTUTH’s success is a model worth studying in order to determine how to replicate their success in other similar rural settings with limited resources.”Dr. Harrison