In Ethiopia, pregnant women living in rural areas rarely have a skilled health care professional helping with the delivery of their babies. In urban areas, less than half of moms have a trained professional assisting with childbirth. When complications occur, the lives of mother and baby are often at risk.
To increase the number of skilled health care professionals in Ethiopia, SOS Children’s Villages and Johnson & Johnson established a nursing and midwife scholarship program at the SOS Nursing School in Makalle. The program serves Ethiopian youth who have received support from SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and abandoned children.
In October 2012, 13 nursing and midwifery students on three year scholarships started their first semester in the inaugural class at the SOS Nursing School. “These 13 students have been given a chance to pursue a valuable career path that otherwise would not have been possible,” says Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA. “They will have the opportunity to better support their families and gain employment in a country where nurses and midwives are in extremely high demand.”
In addition to the scholarship program at the school in Makalle, Johnson & Johnson has provided scholarships for nurse education at the SOS Nursing School in Mogadishu, Somalia; the Aga Khan University in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; and the Hamlin School of Midwifery in Ethiopia.