Community-Based Newborn Care in Ethiopia: Implementation Strength and Lessons Learned

  • Bereket Mathewos
  • Yunis Musema
  • Abeba Bekele
  • Bantalem Yeshanew
  • Gizachew Tadele
  • Efrem Teferi
  • Agazi Ameha
  • Tedbabe Degefie


Introduction: Building on lessons learned from integrated community case management of common childhood illnesses, Ethiopia launched community-based newborn care in March 2013 with the goal of reducing newborn and child mortality. The strategies of community-based newborn care included, among others, identification and managing sick newborns at the community level when referral is not possible.

Objective: To assess the strength of the community-based newborn care program implementation in terms of inputs, process, and outputs, and document key lessons learned through the implementation of the first phase of the program in the four agrarian regions of Ethiopia.

Method. Mixed methods were employed; a secondary analysis of quantitative data from routine program databases collected March 2013 through December 2016 and desk review and after-action reviews with stakeholders, in the first phase community-based newborn care program zones.

Results: Trained service providers were available in all health posts(HPs) and 91%(95 CI: 90-92) of health posts had the essential drugs, amoxicillin and gentamycin for community case management of sick newborns on the day of visit. A third (32%) of the expected very severe disease cases sought care at HPs. Nearly three quarters (74%) of these cases were treated at health posts, and 90% of the cases completed their treatment.

Original Article