Each day this year, 17,000 more children will live—and 700 more mothers will survive childbirth—than 20 years ago. This is the result of truly global efforts. Adanech Belay is the proud mother of three living in Hwoloso Kebele, Ethiopia. She is one of millions of rural families that used to live beyond the reach of the health system.
Thanks to recent efforts by the Ethiopian Government, and supported by USAID, to train and build an "army" of more than 38,000 health workers and deploy them around the country, Belay gives birth in a clinic, seeks follow-up care for her children, knows about vaccines, hygiene and family planning. Importantly, her children are healthy. Health extension workers now form the backbone of Ethiopia's health-care system, empowering families like hers to take charge of their own health. And the efforts are working.
In September 2013, Ethiopia announced it had achieved Millennium Development Goal 4—reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015—a full year ahead of schedule. In 1990, Ethiopia's under-5 mortality rate was one of the highest in the world at 204 for every 1,000 live births; by 2012, this rate had been slashed to 68 for every 1,000 live births. The United States is committed to help Ethiopia end extreme poverty and its most devastating consequences—child hunger and child death—in the next two decades. Together we will continue Acting on the Call.
Last updated: January 16, 2015