Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Makda, a Maternal and Child Health Ambassador

Reading time: 2 min

Health centres destroyed by conflict

In the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the healthcare system is struggling to recover from the aftermath of the conflict. Many health facilities are still non-operational. Those that have resumed are having to cope with with critical shortages of trained staff, essential medications, and medical supplies. 

Last year, in the most rural areas of Tigray where the health service has seen a total collapse, there has been a terrifying increase in maternal deaths.

With very little access to maternal and child health services, women and children continue to suffer the consequences of conflict, forgotten in their time of need. 

Restoring vital care for mothers and babies

Our partner Wings of Healing is restoring health centres in Tigray, providing life-saving maternal health services (antenatal, delivery and postnatal). They are re-equipping centres with essential medicines and items such as beds, blood pressure machines and portable ultrasounds. They are also providing training for staff and raising awareness of the newly-restored services in the surrounding communities.

Inspirational ambassadors for maternal health

Makda is a 45-year-old mother from a village near Axum in the Tigray region.

She saw first-hand the devastating effects of the conflict, witnessing the distressing consequences for pregnant women with no access to healthcare services.

When Makda discovered that the Wings of Healing team were working to restore maternal health services, she volunteered as an ambassador, to raise awareness of the services available and help women access them.

Wings of Healing providing health education at a pregnancy conference

Makda has organised sessions, forums and workshops on maternal and child health topics, aiming to help more women access this vital care and reduce home deliveries. Since taking on her ambassadorial role, Makda has already helped twelve mothers deliver safely at the newly-equipped health centre.

Makda’s story is just one example of the many dedicated ambassadors and health professionals who are working to ensure women are not forgotten.

Together, we can reach more women with this essential care.

Pictured below: women and their families attending pregnancy conferences and health education forums, and staying at the newly-established maternity waiting homes.

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