The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) has participated on the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 21st World Congress, which was held in Vancouver, Canada from 4 to 9, October, 2015. Thirty five members of ESOG participated on the Congress, where ESOG hosted a session entitled- The State of Maternal Health in Ethiopia.

The scientific program of the congress was very significant in that world class speakers took part and shared their knowledge and experiences. In addition, the congress was also an opportunity for ESOG to conduct sideline meetings with representatives from the African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AFOG) and other stakeholders.

Please read the Abstract of the session below.

The State of Maternal Health in Ethiopia


This is prepared to show the world the efforts of the people and government of Ethiopia towards reducing maternal morbidity and mortality.


Ethiopia has a population of about 90,096,012, with annual population growth rate of 2.4Pct. The total of fertility rate in 2014 is 4.1Pct with a drop from 5.5Pct in 2000, out of the annual expected pregnancies of about 3 million. The modern contraceptive prevalence rate has increased dramatically from 6Pct in 2000 to 40Pct in 2014. This is mainly due to task sharing of family planning service to health extension workers to provide short term and long acting reversible contraceptives (Implanon) at the community level with backup support from health centers. Abortion related deaths have also showed significant drop from its contribution to maternal mortality of around 32-54Pct prior to 2005 to 4-6Pct from a 2014 study after Ethiopia introduced a progressive abortion law in 2006.

According to the successive demographic health survey findings, the skilled birth attendance rate has increased from 5Pct in 2005 to 15Pct in 2014. Innovative approaches for human resource for health shortage in the rural setting have been addressed through task sharing of surgical skills to emergency surgical officers. The number of obstetrics and gynecology residency training universities has also increased from one in 2005 to eight in 2015 with a plan to produce up to 300 OB-GYNs in a year by 2020.


Ethiopia has shown significant progress over the last decade in relation to maternal health but still has much more to do in this year as well as in the post MDG years through strengthening the health system and the quality of training at all levels of health cadres. Equity and quality of health care for maternal health should also be nucleus of the health system.