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Keywords:

  • emergency obstetric care;
  • home-based care;
  • maternal mortality;
  • neonatal mortality;
  • Ethiopia

Home-Based Life Saving Skills (HBLSS) was integrated over 3 years into a district-level child survival project coordinated through the Ministry of Health and Save the Children Foundation/US in Liben Woreda, Guji Zone, Oromia Region, southern Ethiopia. During late 2004, the second phase of the program was reviewed for performance, home-based management, learning transfer, and program coverage. The immediate posttraining performance score for HBLSS guides for “First Actions” was 87% (a 78% increase over the pretraining baseline) and 79% at 1 year (a 9% decrease from the immediate posttraining score). The home-based management score of women attended by HBLSS guides for “First Actions” was 89%, compared to 32% for women assisted by other unskilled attendants. HBLSS guides teach women and families in the community as they were taught, by using pictorial Take Action Cards, role-play and demonstration, and a variety of venues. Estimates of HBLSS coverage suggest that HBLSS guides attended 24% to 26% of births, and 54% of women giving birth were exposed to HBLSS training. The HBLSS field tests demonstrate a promising program that increases access to basic care for poor, underserved, rural populations who carry the greatest burden of maternal and neonatal mortality.