Low health care coverage in south-west Ethiopia

Assessment of availabiltiy and utlization af Emergency Obstetric Care Services In Gamo Gofa Zone, SNNRP, Ethiopia

Recently Meseret Girma Abate from Arba Minch University finished her Master of public health degree at Addis Continental Institute of Public Health and University of Gondar.

This work is a part of the research done for the programme to reduce maternal mortality in south-west Ethiopia. The following is an abstract of her research:

Most maternal deaths take place during labour and within few weeks after delivery. The availability and use of emergency obstetric care facilities is important to reduce maternal deaths. However, there is limited evidence how these institutions perform, and how many people use them in Gamo Gofa zone in south-west Ethiopia.

The objective of the thesis was to assess availability and use of emergency obstetric care services in Gamo Gofa zone in south-west Ethiopia.

For this study we did a cross-sectional survey of all 63 health centres and three hospitals  in Gamo Gofa. We did a retrospective review of obstetric services in Gamo Gofa zone in south-west Ethiopia. The data collectors visited each institution, observed the work, and interviewed the head nurses.

The main results show there were three basic and two comprehensive emergency obstetric care institutions per 1,740,885 population. Only 6.6% of all expected births were done by skilled attendants, and the caesarean section rate was 0.8%. Remote laying health institutions had lower number of births. The maternal mortality rate among births attending health institutions was 1900 per 100,000 live births.

The availability of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care facilities in south-west Ethiopia is far below the recommended health care coverage. The proportion of institutional deliveries and caesarean section rate is low.

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