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Traditional practices like child marriage and poor quality healthcare can be fatal for women and children in Ethiopia. That's why Save the Children is helping to create a better health service, and working to change attitudes on harmful traditions.
We're working with local health providers to create better access to healthcare for young mothers, and we're creating spaces for important conversations aimed at reducing harmful practices like child marriage.
Why better health for mothers and children is important
A lack of access to healthcare and high rates of child marriage create serious challenges for the survival of young mothers and their children in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.
Girls who marry early are at greater risk of reproductive health complications and often have limited access to education, leading to poverty. Studies also indicate that early marriage is one of the main underlying causes for child mortality. In Amhara, where we work, 108 children die per 1,000 live births.
(Source: 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey).
Save the Children's Better Health for Mothers and Children program
We're improving access to healthcare and encouraging girls and women to seek out professional health treatment. We're also working with families to increase the marriage age to 18 so that girls are empowered to make better health choices.
We work with Government health departments and community-based organisations to strengthen mother and child healthcare services. We also invite women and young girls to advise us on how we can best meet their needs.
How we know we're making a difference
We've seen almost 50 mother support groups established in communities, providing a platform for the community (including men and women) to learn about pregnancy, birth-preparedness and other issues related to mother and infant health.
We've also seen more than 60 radio listening groups set up to start conversations that have the power to change harmful attitudes and practices.
Who makes our program possible
Save the Children partners with Government health departments and community-based organisations in Amhara.