Readiness of Primary Health Care Units in Addressing Facility-Based Newborn Care in Ethiopia

  • Agazi Ameha
  • Endale Engida
  • Mariame Sylla
  • Negusu Worku
  • Macoura Oulare
  • Hailemariam Legesse
  • Bizuhan Gelaw
  • Yayeh Negash
  • Lisanu Tadesse
  • Meles Selemon
  • Yunis Musema
  • Ephrem Teklu


Introduction: Neonatal mortality declined by 41% in the past 15 years but remains unacceptability high in Ethiopia (29/100 live births).  Further reductions in neonatal mortality are a major priority and will require improvements in care for mothers and newborns during pregnancy, postnatally, and especially around the time of delivery. These improvements rely on the readiness of facilities to provide high quality services to those who need them.

Objective: To assess the facility readiness for newborn care in Ethiopia.

Methods: The study data is drawn from a cross-sectional national health facility assessment of 175 health centers and 120 hospitals conducted between December 2016 and February 2017. The study focused on the availability and functionality of newborn care corner and related services and newborn intensive care units in the nine regions and two city administrations of Ethiopia.

Results: The study found that 91% of health centers had newborn corners established within labor rooms although wide variations existed between regions. Radiant warmers were assembled in nearly all HCs (82%), however oxygen was used in only 29% of HCs.  Most of the hospitals had received radiant warmers with oxygen cylinders, phototherapy, incubators, and continuous positive airway pressure sets.  Radiant warmers with oxygen cylinders and phototherapy arrived ready to use. However, only 77% of hospitals had assembled and used incubators and only 11% of hospitals had assembled and used continuous positive airway pressure sets.

Original Article