In Ethiopia 52% of babies are put to the breast within one hour of being born and 52% of babies are exclusively breastfed through six months according to Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2012 report. While that number can definitely be improved Ethiopia has been given a “good” rating by Save the Children along with countries such as Rwanda and Eritrea that have percentages for the aforementioned breastfeeding indicators around the 70% range. Only four countries have been given “very good” ratings and they are Malawi, Madagascar, Peru and the Solomon Islands.
The power of frontline health workers
(Photo Album) Mothers Taking Their Children to Health Posts
At Bishoftu Hospital, we meet two HIV mothers who received assistance through a US-funded program called Food by Prescription. Quietly speaking through translation, one woman, Mary (whose name has been changed) wipes away tears as she recounts her experience with the program. Mary, a thin woman with sun-worn skin, was diagnosed with malnutrition along with her HIV positive status and was provided free Plumpy’Sup (the adult equivalent of children’s Plumpy’Nut) in order to increase her weight. (via Day 2 in Ethiopia: Food by Prescription | Impatient Optimists)
Ethiopia, a country of 84 million and one of the world’s poorest according to the World Bank, is working diligently to save the lives of women and children; and it’s doing it with the help of an army of thousands of women. The country is specifically aiming to reduce child mortality by two thirds and reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio, all by 2015. Unfortunately some of these numbers are stubborn in their refusal to decline rapidly enough – or decline at all. Between 2005 and 2011, Ethiopia’s newborn mortality rate only dropped two percentage points.