Improving maternal and child health is foundation for every nations, communities and families. Millennium Development Goals had applied various strategies to overcome the gaps resulted in maternal and child health morbidity and mortality from global to local levels. Among the strategies is maternity waiting home, an important tool-had been addressed those in need of access and hard/difficult to reach for skilled delivery. Consequently, the aim of this review is to narrate the existing strategies, summarized outcome and impact of maternity waiting homes in Ethiopia as well as make recommendations. Four databases were searched to access literatures; they are: Science Direct, Google Scholar, Open Access Journals Search Engine and PubMed. Published literatures and other library sources were explored to get unpublished works in the topic. Boolean connectors were used to connect the key words. Exclusion and inclusion criteria were established. From all databases, five literatures were identified, screened, and included; all were facility based studies. Three were cross sectional, one prospective and the other retrospective cohort in their design of study. Two cohorts studies claimed that there is difference between the outcome of perinatal and mothers following maternity waiting homes utilization. Cohort studies revealed that mothers who utilized maternity waiting homes are less likely to have negative health consequences; themselves and their perinatal. Findings from existing literatures show that there have been significant differences in maternal and perinatal mortality among maternity waiting homes utilizers and non-utilizers, with its own limitations; although no community or facility based studies were conducted. Consequently, it is vital to conduct community based randomized trial to examine the observable effect of maternity waiting homes in improvement of perinatal and maternal health.
Key words: Effects, Ethiopia, factors, problems, maternal waiting homes.