Effects of family conversation on health care practices in Ethiopia: a propensity score matched analysis
Maternal and newborn mortality rates in Ethiopia are among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of deaths take place during childbirth or within the following 48 h. Therefore, ensuring facility deliveries with emergency obstetric and newborn care services available and immediate postnatal follow-up are key strategies to increase survival. In early 2014, the Family Conversation was implemented in 115 rural districts in Ethiopia, covering about 17 million people. It aimed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality by promoting institutional delivery, early postnatal care and immediate newborn care practices. More than 6000 Health Extension Workers were trained to initiate home-based Family Conversations with pregnant women and key household decision-makers. These conversations included discussions on birth preparedness, postpartum and newborn care needs to engage key household stakeholders in supporting women during their pregnancy, labor and postpartum periods. This paper examines the effects of the Family Conversation strategy on maternal and neonatal care practices.