In Ethiopia, a lack of awareness of the importance of skilled hospital deliveries, cultural beliefs and transport challenges in rural areas are causing a high number of deaths during childbirth, say officials. Only 10% of deliveries take place within health facilities, according to the Ethiopia’s latest demographic health survey results. Nevertheless, the figure is a significant improvement on 6% in the previous survey, in 2005.
The health minister, Kesetebirhan Admasu, said: “About 60% of mothers who did not attend health facilities while giving birth do not see the benefit of delivering in health facilities, while the remaining 30% abstain from going there by giving culture and beliefs as their reason. That [the] majority of women did not appreciate the value of institutional delivery calls for a concerted effort to educate women and families about the importance of skilled birth attendance and postnatal care.”