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Community-Based Cause of Death Study Linked to Maternal and Child Health Program and Vital Statistics in Ethiopia (IMCHA)

While Ethiopia has successfully reduced under-five childhood mortality, there have been slower gains in reducing neonatal (newborn) and maternal mortality rates. About 220,000 children and mothers die every year in Ethiopia. For most, the causes of death are unknown as fewer than 30% of Ethiopia's births and deaths are registered. The lack of information makes evidence-based decision-making difficult.

As part of national efforts to strengthen civil registration and vital statistics, the goal of this project is to overcome the maternal, newborn, and child health "Know-Do Gap" in Ethiopia by piloting a low-cost, high-quality cause-of-death (COD) data collection and monitoring system at the national level. This will enable the development of scalable solutions to address critical gaps in maternal and child mortality that can influence local, national, and global efforts.
This project aims to generate a national open-source catalogue for COD data from 1990 onward. It will also pilot a "Global Resource to Accelerate Accurate Death Estimation and Evaluation (GRADE)" platform to decrease the cost, while increasing the quality and feasibility, of COD surveys.

This project will increase the quality of local evidence to help guide Ethiopian priorities by building awareness of causes of maternal, childhood, and neonatal deaths. It will also contribute to emerging evidence at the global level under the Centre of Excellence for Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems. This is part of Canada's contribution to the work being undertaken through the Global Financing Facility focusing on the challenges facing many high burden countries to improve maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health.

The project will provide Ethiopia with its first-ever representative data on the causes of neonatal and maternal deaths, which will serve to better identify gaps in health services for mothers and children. The evidence will link causes of death to maternal and child health outcomes, which can be used to inform future policy. This will help Ethiopia to achieve its commitment to reduce preventable deaths by 40% by 2030, as proposed by the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This project is part of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative (2014-2020), a seven-year, $CA36 million multi-donor partnership funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Canada's International Development Research Centre.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
54 months
IDRC Officer
Sana Naffa
Total Funding
CA$ 948,361.00
Institution Country
Project Leader
Prabhat Jha
Unity Health Toronto
Institution Country
Project Leader
Wubegzier Mekonnen
Ethiopian Public Health Association

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