Ethiopia's minister of health, Teodros Adhanom, was in Mekele this week to open one of three training centers in Ethiopia that are designed to build on the government's success in reducing infant and maternal mortality. Girmay Gebru reported from Mekele for the Tigrigna service.
The three training centers will try to reach that goal by teaching public health workers how to perform Caesarean sections safely. During opening one of the centers in Mekele, Swedish health adviser Stephane Bergstrong said,
"In Ethiopia, 60 women die every single day from a 'disease' called pregnancy," said Stephane Bergstrong, a Swedish health advisor. "This means 300,000 babies die every year due to maternal mortality." Bergstrong says reducing maternal mortality is directly linked to government policies.
In 1990, more than 1,000 women died in childbirth for every 100,000 births, the minister told reporters during his visit to the new Mekele training center. Five years ago the number was reduced to 7761, he said. Now, the government goal is to reduce the number of deaths of birthing mothers to 267 in the next seven years.