The Harm Reduction and Childbirth Survival Project (2017-2020) is a planned 4-year collaboration between BKFA and APDA in Zone 3 of the Afar Region, Ethiopia.

With a national maternal mortality ratio of 353 in 100,000 live births and a population estimated at 90 million, Ethiopia is one of six countries that contributes to more than 50% of all maternal deaths worldwide.

The Afar Region in the country’s north-east has extremely poor maternal health indicators, even by national standards. Throughout the region, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage and other harmful traditional practices continue to be widely practiced. These barriers to access and utilisation of basic maternal and reproductive health services in the Afar Region are further compounded by poor infrastructure, harsh environmental conditions, and high rates of illiteracy.

The Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA) is the largest Ethiopian NGO in the Afar Region that works with Afar pastoralist communities. The organisation delivers mobile primary health care and education services that are built on the Afar culture and incorporate local healers and Koranic teachers from the communities in which they work. The participatory nature of ADPA’s health and education services ensure community ownership, allowing Afar pastoralist communities to be more responsive in addressing their own health needs.