Five Ways of Looking at Maternal Health: The Mothers of Ethiopia

11 November 2009
Author: UNFPA

NEW YORK — In Ethiopia, 22,000 women and girls die each year as a result of complications during pregnancy or childbirth, and more than 500,000 suffer from pregnancy-related disabilities. That means that one out of every 27 Ethiopian women will end up dying from straining to give life. Reducing the high maternal mortality ratio is one of the greatest public health challenges facing the country.

Mothers of Ethiopia

Part I: Zemzem's Journey

Part II: Escaping Child Marriage

Part III: Battling Pregnancy Complications

Part IV: Inside a Rural Post

Part V: Government Looks for Solutions to Dire Shortage of Doctors 

The Government of Ethiopia is now tackling the issue head-on with an ambitious new national health plan and initiatives that prioritize maternal health. But with the population growing at a rate of two million people a year, the health system is under increasing strain just to keep up and faces enormous challenges.

Reducing maternal mortality is a multidimensional problem, and a series of five feature stories recently published in the Huffington Post explore several different but related aspects of the issue, from the health consequences of child marriage to the needed health sector reforms and personnel shortages.

With support from UNFPA, the Huffington Post World Editor, Hanna Ingber Win recently traveled to Ethiopia to report on the various obstacles women face there and what is being done to improve their chances of making it to motherhood. Find out what she learned.

Population : 115 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 31%
Girls 30%

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