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A midwive holds a newly delivered baby ©VSO/Peter Caton
©VSO/Peter Caton

Give lifesaving knowledge this christmas

Every day in Ethiopia, around 240 babies die before they are a month old. The first month of a baby’s life is when they are most at risk, and many of the threats they face are easily prevented or treated.

Your support could help train people like Tsige in lifesaving skills to give more babies a chance at life.

Donations will be distributed across all types of VSO's work in health, education and livelihoods.

Why support VSO?


Treatable conditions are costing babies their lives

In recent years, there has been huge progress in Ethiopia. Birth and pregnancy are getting safer, but there is still a long way to go.

Every year in Ethiopia, over 80,000 mums have their worst fear realised. 

Shortages in trained doctors and nurses, poor facilities and a lack of equipment mean babies are still dying from preventable causes. 

But there is an answer.

Meet the answer

With your support, VSO can continue to make an investment in Ethiopia that goes beyond equipment and the four walls of a health centre.

A VSO volunteer and local midwife hand a healthy baby to its mother ©VSO/Peter Caton

Sarika (middle) has been sharing lifesaving skills with midwives like Tsige (left)

We know these things are important, in fact, we've helped to open 47 neonatal intensive care units across the country.

But when electricity fails and equipment stops working, a team's knowledge could be the only thing that prevents a mother from losing their baby, or their life.

That’s why VSO volunteers are training nurses and midwives like Tsige, equipping them with skills they’ll use for years to come. Skills they will pass on to others to improve the chances for babies not yet conceived.

Putting lifesaving techniques into action

When baby Tarik arrived at the Mulu Asefa hospital, in the highlands of Ethiopia, he was tiny, premature and icy cold. He weighed only 900g.

Thanks to Sarika’s training, the team knew to act quickly and warm him up. They used a piece of equipment they had improvised, designed to run without the need for electricity, to keep his airways open.

"Because I gave birth at just 7 months, I didn’t think the baby would survive. But thanks to the treatment he has received from the team here, he is healthy. I am so happy."

A mother has important skin to skin time with her tiny newborn ©VSO/Peter Caton

Mitslal holds tiny baby Tarik for the first time.

With your support, VSO volunteers could provide more hospitals with the vital skills and equipment they need to give babies a fighting chance at life.

Help save more babies like Tarik by donating today.








How every £1 is spent at VSO


Source: United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNICEF, WHO, United Nations Population Division and the World Bank).