Category: Uncategorised Published: Friday, 08 July 2016 Written by Super User


With nearly 100 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second-most populous nation on the African continent after Nigeria. It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi), and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.

The major health problems of the country remain largely preventable communicable diseases and nutritional disorders. Despite major progresses have been made to improve the health status of the population in the last one and half decades, Ethiopia's population still face a high rate of morbidity and mortality and the health status remains relatively poor. Figures on vital health indicators from DHS 2005 show a life expectancy of 54 years (53.4 years for male and 55.4 for female), and an IMR of 77/1000. Under-five mortality rate has been reduced to 101/1000 in 2010 and more than 90% of child deaths are due to pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, neonatal problems, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS, and often a combination of these conditions. These are very high levels, though there has been a gradual decline in these rates during the past 15 years. In terms of women health, MMR has declined to 590/100,000 though it still remains to be among the highest. the major causes of maternal death are obstructed/prolonged labor (13%), ruptured uterus (12%), severe pre-eclampsia / eclampsia (11%) and malaria (9%). Moreover, 6% of all maternal deaths were attributable to complications from abortion. Shortage of skilled midwives, weak referral system at health center levels, lack inadequate availability of BEmONC and CEmONC equipment, and under financing of the service were identified as major supply side constraints that hindered progress. On the demand side, cultural norms and societal emotional support bestowed to mothers, distance to functioning health centers and financial barrier were found to be major causes.


Following changes of Government in 1991, the Government produced the health policy which was the first of its kind in the country and was among a number of political and socio-economic transformation measures that were put in place. The translation of the health policy was followed by the formulation of four consecutive phases of comprehensive Health Sector Development Plans (HSDPs), the first phase of which was implemented starting in 1996/97. Both of the policy formulation as well as the development of the first HSDP have been the result of critical reviews and scrutiny of the nature, magnitude and root causes of the prevailing health problems of the country and the broader awareness of the newly emerging health problems in the country.


The core elements of the health policy are democratization and decentralization of the health care system, development of the preventive, promotive and curative components of health care, assurance of accessibility of health care for all segments of the population and the promotion of private sector and NGOs participation in the health sector. Since the development of HSDP I which also paved the way for the subsequent HSDP II and HSDP III, the Federal Ministry of Health has formulated and implemented a number of policies and strategies that afforded an effective framework for improving health in the country including the recent addition of maternal and neonatal health. This include implementations of far reaching and focused strategies such as Making Pregnancy Safer (2000), Reproductive Health Strategy (2006), Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Strategy (2006) and the Revised Abortion Law (2005). Others include strategies on free service for key maternal and child health services (Health Care Financing Strategy), the training and deployment of new health workforce called all female HEWs for the institutionalization of the community health care services including clean and safe delivery at HP level, and deployment of HOs with MSc training in skills of Integrated Emergency Obstetric and Surgery (IEOS). In addition, the establishment of the MDG Performance Package Fund and the priority given to maternal health therein is expected to mobilize the much required additional funding opportunities




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