Publication on Referral systems for preterm, LBW and sick newborns in Ethiopia

13 November, 2020

Good morning/afternoon

In partnership with the St. Paul's Millennium Medical College, other universities in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, the USAID-funded Every Preemie-SCALE (2014 - 2019) project conducted implementation research in three regions of Ethiopia-Amhara, Oromia and Addis Ababa-to assess the referral system of preterm, Low Birth Weight, and sick newborns and to identify barriers for its effective functioning across the primary health care system in Ethiopia.

An article highlighting the findings, Referral systems for preterm, low birth weight, and sick newborns in Ethiopia: a qualitative assessment, was published in BMC Pediatrics August 2020. The article can be found here (

Results highlight three areas related to gaps and barriers to the newborn referral system: transport and referral communication; availability of, and adherence to newborn referral protocols; and family reluctance or refusal of newborn referral. The article concludes that "As the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health focuses on averting early child deaths, government investments in newborn referral systems and standardizing referral and return referral communication are urgently needed. A complimentary approach is to lessen referral overload at higher-level facilities through improvements in the scope and quality of services at lower health system tiers to provide basic and advanced newborn care."

Warm regards, Judith Robb-McCord

Judith Robb-McCord, MAAS, MPH

Vice President, Technical Leadership and Support

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 900

Washington, DC 20036

skype: Judith.mccord6

phone: (505) 500-2636/+263-782637881<> |<>

CHIFA profile: Judith Robb-McCord is Senior Director, Every Preemie-SCALE (Scaling, Catalyzing, Advocating, Learning, and Evidence-Driven) at Project Concern International, PCI, in the USA. Judith has over 25 years of international public health experience, including program leadership in maternal, newborn and child health; reproductive health and family planning; malaria; and HIV/AIDS.  She has worked with a variety of global and national partners to create long-range strategies and to design and implement projects for improved health outcomes primarily in Africa and Asia. jmccord AT