ESOG Delivers Medical Supplies to Tigray Regional Health Bureau


The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) conducted a field visit to Mekelle on January 16 & 17, 2024. The mission of the visit was to participate in the Safe Motherhood Month celebration organized by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and deliver essential medical supplies to the Tigray Reginal Health Bureau, with the ultimate goal of rejuvenating and fortifying the region's health system.

Despite unforeseen challenges, ESOG successfully delivered a feto-maternal monitor, an examination bed, and other necessary supplies to the Tigray Regional Health Bureau. This gesture is part of a broader initiative aimed at rebuilding the health infrastructure in Tigray.

During the visit, productive discussions took place with Dr. Amanuel Haile, the head of Tigray's Regional Health Bureau, and a senior Ob-Gyn resident. The dialogue underscored the urgent need for sustained support to restore the health system to its full capacity Both the resident and the health bureau chief emphasized the challenges faced by various health facilities in Tigray, such as non-functional ultrasound equipment in the maternal emergency room, the absence of an oncology subspecialty, and shortages in long-acting family planning supplies, among many others.

Further discussions with ESOG members highlighted several key points, including the potential for featuring research studies from residents in the upcoming annual conference, organizing training sessions on manuscript development and grant writing, and addressing the absence of oncology subspecialists through collaborative initiatives with esteemed institutions, among other areas.

Strengthening Reproductive Health Services: Training in Ambo for ESOG Project

Training_at_Ambo.jpgThe Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) conducted a comprehensive training program for 35 healthcare workers from various health facilities in the West Shewa zone of the Oromia region. The three-day training, held from November 25th to 27th, 2023 in Ambo Town, focused on integrating family planning methods with Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC), HIV, and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services.

The training aimed to equip healthcare workers with the latest global trends, definitions, and approaches in integrating family planning services with CAC, HIV, and MCH services. Facilitated by experts in the field, the sessions covered topics ranging from the overview of reproductive health and rights in the Ethiopian context to specific aspects like emergency contraception, post-abortion and post-partum family planning, and family planning for HIV-positive clients.

Participants engaged in interactive sessions on counseling in family planning, gaining insights into effective communication strategies to address the diverse needs of their communities. The training fostered an environment of shared knowledge and expertise, setting the stage for future implementation of integrated services in their respective health facilities.

The training program falls under the broader initiative led by ESOG, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The project, titled "Advocate for and Institutionalize Activities to Protect the Quality of Family Planning and Comprehensive Abortion Care Services in Ethiopia," spans 24 months from August 1, 2023, to July 31, 2025.

ESOG, a trusted partner working closely with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, has been dedicated to strengthening capacity and quality improvement in reproductive health services over the past seven years. The current project addresses critical challenges in sexual and reproductive health, particularly focusing on safe abortion and family planning care programs.

The multifaceted approach involves engaging policymakers, media professionals, and civil society organizations to build a supportive environment for abortion and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). By reducing stigma and discrimination, the project seeks to enhance the competence of healthcare providers and increase client satisfaction.

As the training in Ambo concludes, the participants return to their health facilities armed with not only new knowledge but also a renewed commitment to championing the cause of comprehensive reproductive health services. The ESOG project, with its ambitious objectives and strategic activities, marks a crucial step towards creating sustainable change in the landscape of reproductive healthcare in Ethiopia.

ESOG Shares Insights on Abortion Care in Ethiopia



In a panel discussion held on Monday, November 6th, the Ethiopian Society Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG) shared its invaluable experience in advancing safe abortion access and policy reform in Ethiopia. The event, which took place at the Best Western Plus Addis Ababa Hotel, brought together key stakeholders, medical professionals, and activists to discuss strategies for enhancing safe abortion services and overcoming challenges in a region where access to safe abortion remains a pressing issue.

The panel discussion, titled "Pioneering the Pathway to Access: Sharing strategies to inform MSI's Future Abortion Programming from Ethiopia," addressed three critical topics:

Dr. Abebe Shibru, Country Director for Marie Stopes International Ethiopia (MSIE), commended Ethiopia's progress in abortion policy and guidelines, emphasizing that the nation serves as a beacon in the region. He highlighted three key approaches that played a pivotal role in achieving abortion reform. Additionally, Dr. Dr. Leilena Shimeles another panelist, discussed the collaborative efforts that formed the national movement for reform and the challenges and compromises required for success.

Alemayehu Hunduma, head of RH, FP, Adolescent and Youth Health Desk at the Ministry of Health highlighted Ethiopia's unique commitment to scaling safe abortion access, including recent initiatives for task-sharing and demedicalization. Overcoming resistance to this approach was a significant focus of the discussion.

Eyob Mohammed, ESOG’s Project Coordinator for Changing the Narrative around Safe abortion in Ethiopia Project, discussed ESOG's role in the 2005 reform of the Penal Code on abortion and shared insights into further increasing access to safe abortion services.  Coordinated by Eyob, the project being implemented by ESOG with a support from MSI aims at building supporting environment, institutionalizing and evidence generation.

Dr. Demeke Desta, Country Director, Ipas Ethiopia, voiced concerns about the growing opposition to safe abortion in Ethiopia, which poses a risk to the progress made thus far. The discussion delved into the experiences of this opposition in communities and among health care providers. Ato Abebe Kebede, Executive Director for the Consortium of Reproductive Health Associations (COHRA), addressed the critical role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in safeguarding Ethiopia's present safe abortion law. He shared information about the work being done to create new narratives around safe abortion to reach the silent majority.

The format of the panel was discussion and Q & A, skillfully facilitated by MSI-Kenya’s Country Director, Dr. Joan Oracha. The insights and strategies shared during the panel will undoubtedly provide valuable guidance for MSI's future abortion programming in Ethiopia and may serve as a source of inspiration for countries facing similar challenges.

Ethiopia's commitment to safe abortion access and the invaluable contributions of organizations like MSIE, ESOG, and COHRA reflect the country's dedication to the cause. By sharing their experiences and strategies, these experts hope to pave the way for safer and more accessible abortion services, setting an example for the region and the world.

As the discussion concluded, the participants remained hopeful about the future of safe abortion access in Ethiopia and inspired to continue their collaborative efforts to protect women's reproductive rights.