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Supporting Ethiopia’s National Sick and Small Newborn Care Plan

Updates on Ethiopia's plans to improve outcomes for mothers and babies, including how the Saving Little Lives implementation fits into this.

Together with representatives from key funding organizations, including the Global Financing Facility and USAID, UN agencies, implementing partners, professional organizations, and federal and regional health bureaus, Laerdal Global Health was invited by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to further develop the national plan for Sick and Small Newborn Care (SSNC). 
The meeting focused on the integration of global recommendations and experiences from regional and national implementation programs. The primary objectives of the meeting were to develop comprehensive SSNC clinical care packages, including Quality Improvement tools and delivery approaches, and to identify relevant medical devices and technologies. 
One aspect of the meeting was an assessment of the progress and share experiences from the implementation of the Saving Little Lives program. This program is implementing a package of interventions, including some LGH innovations including Moyo and NeoBeat, in 290 hospitals across Ethiopia. It aims to reduce neonatal mortality by 35%.  

Saving Little Lives is a flagship program of the Ministry of Health and we will build on this experience and groundwork.

Saving Little Lives is a flagship program of the Ministry of Health and we will build on this experience and groundwork

As a result of the meeting, a Call to Action was issued to reinforce investments and accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goal Target 3.2 (Ending preventable newborn and child deaths under 5). This includes a strong emphasis on quality care supported by training, mentorship, and the utilization of digital solutions for data collection and informed decision-making. 
The importance of coordination, standardization, and partnership was underscored during the meeting. To ensure effective implementation of the SSNC scale-up plan, a national coordination and technical team task force will be established. This task force will play a crucial role in ensuring accountability, mobilizing resources, approving investment cases, developing implementation plans and guidelines, and advocating for the Small and Sick Newborn Care plan at both the government and non-governmental levels. 
In a follow-up visit, Laerdal Global Health founder, Tore Lærdal, met with representatives from the Ministry of Health who underscored their commitment to apply what they’ve learned from the Saving Little Lives program and continue to invest in solutions they believe can improve newborn care in Ethiopia.