Teach Traditional Ethiopian Midwives to Save Lives

Jan 8, 2009

Traditional Midwives Integral to Safe Motherhood Success

We have good news to report that Ethiopia is demonstrating global leadership in involving traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in the use of misoprostol for safe delivery. The endorsement of TBAs was spurred largely by the training of the government’s rural health extension workers on misoprostol that VS supported in four zones. A subsequent evaluation of that project documented positive results where TBAs and health extension workers were linked. Moreover our pioneering work with traditional midwives demonstrated that they could administer misoprostol safely to women after childbirth. Both projects demonstrate that these front-line health workers who operate in the most rural and underserved areas are the best means to deliver the life-saving misoprostol tablets to the women who need them most. The government is now moving ahead with plans to apply this health worker model to prevent maternal mortality from postpartum hemorrhage with misoprostol throughout the country.

Moreover, awareness on the importance of misoprostol has gained popularity among both the health care providers and the communities where misoprostol is being used. One head of a rural district health center had this to say to our program monitoring team, “Misoprostol has gained momentum so fast that women request for ‘the life saving drug which you have given to my neighbor when she delivered at your health center’. Referral for [complications of] postpartum hemorrhage has stopped [since we] started using misoprostol in the health center.”


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Project Leader

Allison Boiles

Communications Specialist
Anaheim, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Teach Traditional Ethiopian Midwives to Save Lives