News @ JSI

Integrated Family Health Program Saved Lives and Improved Health

January 19, 2017

John Snow, Inc. and its partner Pathfinder International, marked the completion of the Integrated Family Health Program, USAID’s flagship maternal, newborn, and child health support and family planning program in Ethiopia. The program enhanced the capacity and built the skills of public sector health care providers and civil society organizations in 300 woredas (districts) of Amhara, Benshangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Somali, Tigray, and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regions.

By introducing emergency obstetric and newborn care, training health providers and health extension workers, and communicating the benefits of delivering in health facilities, the Integrated Family Health Program helped avert 65,000 maternal deaths.
Since the program began in July 2008, Ethiopia has experienced significant improvements in the woredas where the program was implemented. For example, the ratio of women using contraceptives rose from 27 to 56 percent. Additionally, maternal and newborn health is better and there has been progress in most child health, nutrition, HIV, and malaria outcomes as a result of efforts between the program and the Government of Ethiopia. These achievements were partly due to training thousands of service providers, including health extension workers.

The program led to positive trends in sustaining management approaches at different levels of the health sector. For example, health facilities learned how to mobilize resources (outside donor-provided funds) to improve service quality.

The Integrated Family Health Program helped expand health practices at the household and community level. For example more mothers gave birth at health facilities instead of at home. The program also strengthened health systems at every level. As a result, the availability and quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health services improved.

Speaking at the event, USAID Deputy Mission Director Ramona El Hamzaoui said, “We also know that this program has substantially contributed to the achievement of the national reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health targets and goals of reducing maternal deaths from 16,000 to 10,000 and child deaths from 178,000 to 123,000 in just five years. This was reflected in the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey.”

JSI and Pathfinder implemented the program jointly, reaching 37.8 million people. JSI and Pathfinder will continue working to improve maternal and child health in a follow-on project that will support the Ministry of Health’s ambitious Health Sector Transformation Plan goals.

Learn more from the Intergrated Family Health Progam Final Report.