Enhancing Sexual Reproductive Health for Women and Adolescents in Ethiopia banner image
Main Funder: Global Affairs Canada
Where: Amhara and Oromia regions

Enhancing Sexual Reproductive Health for Women and Adolescents in Ethiopia

CPAR and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are joining forces on a new four-year, $4.1 million CAD project to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women and adolescents in the Amhara and Oromia regions in Ethiopia. The project will support the delivery of the national Ethiopian curriculum for sexual reproductive health (SRH) and the development of SRH service capacity in the Ethiopian health system. It will have a direct and long-lasting impact on the lives of the more than 708,000 women and adolescents in these regions.

Why this project is important

Creating gender equality and empowering women and girls requires them to have access to quality sexual reproductive healthcare to enable them to lead healthy lives and fully participate in social, economic and political life. Through this project, CPAR and GAC will support Ethiopia’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of and access to sexual reproductive healthcare in the country.
 

Project strategies and objectives

CPAR and GAC will work with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Women and Children, and the Ministry of Education as well as with regional and zonal health authorities, local universities, community administrative and healthcare teams and local grassroots organizations to close the gaps in SRH education and services.

 

Educate women and adolescents about SRH

Collaborative approaches will be used to develop peer-to-peer information and awareness materials about SRH and gender-based violence. These materials will be shared through youth-driven networks.
 
Project staff will work with students from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Gondar; Salale University, Fitche; and Arsi University College of Health Sciences in Asella to develop effective and engaging workshops and information dissemination strategies.
 

Address SRH service quality

The project will improve the health system’s capacity to deliver youth- friendly SRH services and support the development of initiatives to bring awareness of these services to local communities.

A key focus will be on ensuring that health workers, including health extension workers, midwives and nurses, have the practical knowledge and skills and the materials they need to deliver quality sexual reproductive healthcare.
 

Address the prevalence and hidden burden of obstetric fistulas

An obstetric fistula is a preventable birth complication that can result from a prolonged or obstructed labour, especially in the absence of medical treatment. The effects on women’s physical and psychological health are devastating.
The project will take a four-pronged approach to reducing the prevalence of obstetric fistulas in the project communities by:
  • Raising awareness of obstetric fistulas and other birth complications and the importance of appropriate intrapartum care.
  • Increasing the availability of skilled attendants who can assist with births at healthcare facilities and make referrals to advanced care.
  • Working to reduce rates of early marriage and childbirth, two of the leading risk factors for obstetric fistula.
  • Supporting the development of the obstetric fistula referral system.
 

How this project is adapting to COVID-19

The project will use a number of avenues to lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for project staff and project communities, such as:
  • Radio messaging that will include relevant and local information about access to SRH services and COVID-19 guidelines.
  • E-learning, a low COVID-19 transmission risk training method that will include COVID-19 information for healthcare workers.
  • The procurement and delivery of personal protective equipment, supported by the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia, for the ESWA project areas. Delivery to the Amhara region will be facilitated by and made in cooperation with Ethiopian Airlines.

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