To deliver on its commitment to end preventable newborn deaths, the Government of Ethiopia has scaled up Community-Based Newborn Care (CBNC). Appropriate illness recognition and care seeking for newborn and childhood illnesses in Ethiopia have been low despite increasing service availability, contributing to high neonatal and child mortality rates. In 2016, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and partners supporting Maternal Newborn Child Health (MNCH)-CBNC, including MCSP, developed a Demand Creation Strategy for MNCH-CBNC that is feasible, effective and scalable to address the persistent low demand for CBNC.
The design process included a review of global and local demand creation experiences for MNCH-CBNC, consultation workshops, cross-learning visits, and a as well as a design workshop attended by the FMOH and its MNCH partners. The resulting strategy supports a systems strengthening approach that builds zonal, woreda, Primary Health Care Unit (PHCU) and kebele-level efforts to improve MNCH-CBNC. Kebele Command Posts (KCP) play a key role in the demand creation process, exploring MNCH-CBNC issues and developing a community action plan, along with implementing, monitoring and evaluating the action plan. They are empowered to lead the process at the community level, including the most affected, interested and influential individuals and community groups; to build and link social networks for improved collective action, resource mobilization, and strengthened referral networks for improved service delivery.