Category Archives: Maternal and neonatal health

New PhD at Hawassa University

On April 23, 2024, Zelalem Tenaw defended his PhD thesis at Hawassa University titled “Reproductive Health Service Utilization and Burden of Problems among Women with Disabilities in Sidama Region, Ethiopia”.

His PhD thesis and publications can be downloaded here.

This study aimed to assess the utilization of reproductive health services and the burden of reproductive health problems among women with disabilities in the Sidama Region in Ethiopia. It used a cross-sectional study design of 652 women with disabilities. Two-thirds had recently experienced an unintended pregnancy, and 60% of reproductive-age females with disabilities reported sexual violence experience. Only 27 % were current contraceptive users, and transport accessibility, age, and types of disability determined their contraceptive use. Also, age, residency, income, parity, alcohol use, and sexual information were the risk factors. It is essential to implement strategies for raising contraceptive awareness and incorporating at-home contraceptive provision into the health extension programs.

Zelalem Tenaw earned his BSc in midwifery at Hawassa University and a Master’s in Maternity and reproductive health at Addis Ababa University in 2015. He is an assistant professor at Hawassa University.

Zelalem’s achievement is the first PhD in Public Health at Hawassa University, a testament to his dedication and the university’s commitment to advancing knowledge in this field. This is a significant achievement at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Zelalem is the first to enroll and complete his doctoral work as a “pure Hawassa PhD graduate.” Students before him were also attached to other universities.

The Senuph project aims to strengthen the College of Health Sciences to run good PhD programs. In the case of Zelalem Tenaw, both his supervisors are attached to the Senuph project, and the Senuph program has participated in giving PhD courses at the institution. We are now looking forward to more PhD graduates completing their Ph.D.

Strengthening neonatal and maternal health

The maternal and neonatal research team aims to improve the quality of care for mothers and newborns within the community. The team collaborates with community health workers and health development teams, directly influencing the local health system.

The photo illustrates a training session conducted by members of the maternal and neonatal research team and health extension workers for the health development teams residing in the Gala Argiso kebele in the Sidama region of Ethiopia. These health development teams are volunteers dedicated to addressing maternal and newborn health issues at the grassroots level. Additionally, it seeks to educate mothers on self-care practices during pregnancy and postpartum and guide them on when to seek medical attention for health concerns.