Member Spotlight: Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG)

A Spotlight on the Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 

Introducing national standards and guidelines to improve SRH services across Ethiopia 

Tell us a bit about your organization

The Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ESOG) was established in 1992 in response to the Safe Motherhood Initiative as a collective professional expression of concern about the high maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity, and the poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH) status in the country. The main aim was to enhance the contribution of obstetricians and gynecologists to improve access and quality of the SRH service in Ethiopia. Consequently, during the last 31 years, ESOG has undertaken a number of remarkable SRH activities by engaging its members, working hand in hand with the Federal Ministry of Health, and networking with other partners working in the area of SRH. The organization focuses on issues like safe motherhood, mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, post-partum hemorrhage, care for survivors of sexual assault, quality of SRH and family planning services, comprehensive abortion care, comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care services, and introducing national standards and guidelines in support of these areas. Many of the country’s sexual and reproductive health guidelines and protocols are developed and implementation pioneered by ESOG.

Why do you consider self-care to be a vital part of healthcare systems? 

Self-care is not a new idea in health care. For millennia people have been taking measures to prevent disease, promote health and cope with illness and disability with and without a healthcare provider. While self-care will never replace the need for access to quality healthcare, self-care interventions are among the most promising and exciting new approaches to improve health and well-being both from a health systems perspective and for people who use these interventions.

Self-care interventions, particularly in the realm of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), have transformative potential to increase individuals’ autonomy in making decisions about their care, strengthen countries’ health systems, and ultimately pave the way toward universal health coverage (UHC).

What are the main challenges to advancing self-care in Ethiopia? 

There are some challenges to advancing self-care in Ethiopia. One example is the National Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent, and Youth Health and Nutrition (RMNCAYH-N) Self-Care Intervention Guideline, which has been prepared by the Ministry of Health with partners but is delayed in approval. Because of this, there aren’t any standard training manuals for SRH self-care intervention or implementation.

In addition, there are challenges at the policy and community levels. The challenge at the policy level is a bottleneck for the implementation of some SRH self-care interventions. For example, the national abortion guideline and obstetrics management protocols do not include self-assessment for medical abortion (MA) eligibility or self-management of MA drugs.

Other challenges include a lack of community awareness and education programs. For example, a HIV self-testing kit is provided only for the key and priority populations who are visiting facilities to test their partners at home. The information on HIV self-testing is not disseminated widely in the communities, in part due to poor health literacy, which is especially high among women.

Also, there are challenges in health facilities that have not yet introduced woman-held case notes (home-based records), despite the nation’s antenatal care (ANC) guidelines encouraging all facilities that provide ANC services to use the case notes to improve the continuity and quality of care and women’s pregnancy experiences.

What does ESOG hope to achieve through its advocacy work as the SCTG’s new Ethiopia Self-Care Network Lead?

Through advocacy work for self-care, ESOG hopes to achieve a safe and supportive enabling environment in Ethiopia that promotes active participation of individuals in their health and an exciting way forward to reach a range of improved outcomes. These outcomes include increased coverage and access, reduced health disparities and increased equity, increased quality of services, improved health and social outcomes, and reduced cost and more efficient use of healthcare resources and services.

For more on ESOG’s activities, publications, and conferences, check out the ESOG website.



The Future of Work

With overarching commitments to flexibility in our work, and greater wellbeing for our employees, we want to ensure PSI is positioned for success with a global and holistic view of talent. Under our new “work from (almost) anywhere,” or “WFAA” philosophy, we are making the necessary investments to be an employer of record in more than half of U.S. states, and consider the U.S. as one single labor market for salary purposes. Globally, we recognize the need to compete for talent everywhere; we maintain a talent center in Nairobi and a mini-hub in Abidjan. PSI also already works with our Dutch-based European partner, PSI Europe, and we’re creating a virtual talent center in the UK.


Meaningful Youth Engagement

PSI is firmly committed to the meaningful engagement of young people in our work. As signatories of the Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent & Youth Engagement, PSI affirms that young people have a fundamental right to actively and meaningfully engage in all matters that affect their lives. PSI’s commitments aim to serve and partner with diverse young people from 10-24 years, and we have prioritized ethics and integrity in our approach. Read more about our commitments to the three core principles of respect, justice and Do No Harm in the Commitment to Ethics in Youth-Powered Design. And read more about how we are bringing our words to action in our ICPD+25 commitment, Elevating Youth Voices, Building Youth Skills for Health Design.


Zero Tolerance for Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking

PSI works to ensure that its operations and supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. Read more about this commitment in our policy statement, endorsed by the PSI Board of Directors.



Since 2017, PSI has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, a commitment to align strategies and operations with universal principles of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Read about PSI’s commitment to the UN Global Compact here.


Environmental Sustainability

The health of PSI’s consumers is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. That’s why we’ve joined the Climate Accountability in Development as part of our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Read about our commitment to environmental sustainability.


Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity

PSI does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Read our full affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policy here.


Zero Tolerance for Discrimination and Harassment

PSI is committed to establishing and maintaining a work environment that fosters harmonious, productive working relationships and encourages mutual respect among team members. Read our policy against discrimination and harassment here.

PSI is committed to serving all health consumers with respect, and strives for the highest standards of ethical behavior. PSI is dedicated to complying with the letter and spirit of all laws, regulations and contractual obligations to which it is subject, and to ensuring that all funds with which it is entrusted are used to achieve maximum impact on its programs. PSI provides exceptionally strong financial, operational and program management systems to ensure rigorous internal controls are in place to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse and ensure compliance with the highest standards. Essential to this commitment is protecting the safety and well-being of our program consumers, including the most vulnerable, such as women and children. PSI maintains zero tolerance for child abuse, sexual abuse, or exploitative acts or threats by our employees, consultants, volunteers or anyone associated with the delivery of our programs and services, and takes seriously all complaints of misconduct brought to our attention.


Diversity and Inclusion

PSI affirms its commitment to diversity and believes that when people feel respected and included they can be more honest, collaborative and successful. We believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background or religious beliefs. Read our commitment to diversity and inclusion here. Plus, we’ve signed the CREED Pledge for Racial and Ethnic Equity. Learn more.


Gender Equality

PSI affirms gender equality is a universal human right and the achievement of it is essential to PSI’s mission. Read about our commitment to gender equality here.


01 #PeoplePowered

02 Breaking Taboos

03 Moving Care Closer to Consumers

04 Innovating on Investments

Let's Talk About Sex