The Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced a $9.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Ethiopia.
The grant will fund work by IHI and its partners in support of efforts by Ethiopia's ministry to develop a unified National Health Care Quality Strategy aimed at closing gaps in healthcare delivery and outcomes. To that end, a scalable model of health system improvement will be launched and tested in health facilities and communities across four regions, with the goal of scaling across the country's nine regions and two city administrations.
While Ethiopia has succeeded in reducing child mortality rates by two-thirds since 1990, mortality rates among mothers and newborns remain high. In 2013, there were 420 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, while newborns under twenty-eight days accounted for 42 percent of deaths among children under the age of 5.
"In the last few years, Ethiopia has made remarkable gains in healthcare delivery," said Nneka Mobisson-Etuk, executive director of IHI's Africa operations. "We look forward to working together with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, partners, communities, and patients alike to dramatically and sustainably improve the health of Ethiopian mothers and babies. We cannot overstate the importance of this work. To invest in the health and quality of care delivery for women and neonates is to invest in the lives of Ethiopian generations to come."