Message from H.E Dr. Keseteberhan Admasu, Minister, FMoH, for the 25th annual conference of the Ethiopian Midwives Association and Silver Jubilee Celebration
Dear esteemed midwives, members of The Ethiopian Midwives association, and partners,
It is indeed an honor and a privilege for me to give this message on the occasion of the 25th annual conference and silver jubilee celebration of the Ethiopian Midwives Association, which will be conducted under the theme “Moving Beyond the Birth: Midwives as Stewards of the Next Generation."
I believe that this important event should be used to celebrate the successes of midwives in Ethiopia and focus on recognizing the importance of midwifery and also to reiterate and call attention to the improvements still needed to ensure that all women have access to qualified midwifery care.
In the last 2 decades the MoH has implemented four successive five-year health sector development plans and achieved remarkable changes in the health sector programs, especially in the maternal and child health sector.
We have made spectacular improvements in terms of child survival and the overall health of our people, especially in the last 15 Years. This was possible through the prevailing peace and stability in the country; healthcare reforms with community empowerment and ownership through the flagship Health Extension Program (HEP); midwives and other health practitioners; sustained political commitment at all levels; innovative solutions to problems like task-shifting; emphasis on building a resilient health system by leveraging domestic and international support; and ensuring equity of access to primary healthcare, providing key priority services and ensuring the worse off are not left behind.
Moreover, the government of Ethiopia is committed to end preventable maternal and child deaths, which was made possible through unwavering political commitment, community ownership, and universal health coverage of high impact interventions.
To consolidate the gains that were made during the MDGs and accelerate the progress towards the noble cause of ending preventable maternal and child deaths the Ministry of Health has developed a 5-year-Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP) 2015-2020.
These will be made possible by Ensuring "Quality" & Equity" in health care, developing caring, respectful and compassionate health professionals, continuing the woreda transformation, and through sustaining the Information Revolution agendas so as to make the health system strong and resilient.
The strong and resilient health system in turn will be the very foundation for improving Maternal Child Health, Disease prevention and Control, effective management of public health emergencies…etc.
With effective implementation of the HSTP in collaboration with health practioners including midwives, we are looking at reducing maternal, under-5 and neonatal mortalities by more than half and plan to reach the targets of 199/100000 Live Births, 30/1000 Live Births and 10/1000 Live Births respectively by 2020.
The Ministry understands that midwives play a pivotal role in improving maternal, newborn, child and youth’s sexual and reproductive services in the country; we will be working with midwives and the midwifery Association to maintain the momentum of the successful MDG achievements we have made. The ministry is ready to work with and support midwives to fully engage in the Health Sector Transformation Plan (HSTP) and contribute their share directly and indirectly to SDGs achievements to be made subsequently.
Motherhood is one of the happiest moments in a family and a woman’s life but it may also be life threatening for the mother and the newborn if there is no skilled care during pregnancy, child-birth or the post-natal period.
At this juncture, I urge the members of the association to do their level best to achieve the HSTP goals as you have a key role to play to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of reducing maternal and newborn mortality and ensuring universal access to healthcare services.
Finally, I call up on all midwives to join hands to make Ethiopia a better place for mothers, newborns and children and work together and share best practices and experiences that will enable us to end preventable maternal and child deaths in our generation.
The women and newborns of Ethiopia and the world need midwives now and in the future!!