Healthcare in Ethiopia
Located in the horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a developing country that has struggled to obtain structured and stable healthcare in the past. However, in recent years, the country  has made several attempts to provide healthcare improvements. Here are six facts about the efforts to improve healthcare in Ethiopia.

6 Facts About Healthcare in Ethiopia

  1. The number of healthcare facilities in Ethiopia has increased immensely. Within the last decade, the number of healthcare facilities and small clinics have quadrupled from 4,211 to 14,416. Public hospitals have grown in numbers from 76 to 126. With an increase in healthcare facilities, citizens living in rather rural areas will have easier access to healthcare and assistance. Although the country is still making improvements daily, the increase in statistics regarding healthcare facilities exemplifies the overall improvement of healthcare in Ethiopia.
  2. Installation of Social Accountability (SA) has improved service delivery in healthcare centers. In 2006, Ethiopia’s government introduced Social Accountability (SA) to its citizens as a new initiative to promote healthcare transparency. The Ethiopian government desired a transparent healthcare system in which citizens would receive full awareness of healthcare rights and standards. Before the introduction of SA, healthcare in Ethiopia was not easily accessible for the disabled and exemplified poor sanitation, a lack of certain medical supplies and mediocre facility service. Through SA, citizens are now aware of the service standards that healthcare systems must reach.
  3. Reforms within health finance have changed within the last decade. The government has also created several reforms to direct more attention to healthcare systems. The Health Sector Development Plan emerged in 2003 and desired an efficient way of providing extensive healthcare in Ethiopia. The increased funding allowed the healthcare sector to place more emphasis on healthcare governing, healthcare employment and additional equipment. From 2007 to 2011, Ethiopia increased expenses towards healthcare from 4.5% to 5.2%.
  4. Ethiopia’s development plan towards healthcare focused on extensive organization and management. In 2006, the development plan enforced specific facility governing boards that had overlooked healthcare facilities. Approximately 93% of facility government boards emerged in healthcare centers in 2013 in hopes of providing better management.
  5. The Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) provided assistance in advocating better quality healthcare. IHI partnered with a few organizations, one of them being the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, to create an initiative plan that emphasized quality. Through the assistance of IHI, Ethiopia’s goals consist of testing and launching a model of a desirable healthcare system that portrays improved healthcare facilities and communities. In all, it hopes to create an efficient and simple strategy that will allow for a sustainable healthcare system in Ethiopia.
  6. Established in 2020, Ethiopia’s Health System Transformation Plan (HSTP) has created several goals to improve healthcare in the future. HSTP is an intricate plan that includes several targets the Ethiopian government is hoping to achieve. These targets include a lower infant mortality rate, a decrease in HIV contraction, a decrease in tuberculosis-related deaths and a depletion of cases regarding malaria deaths. By setting these goals, Ethiopia’s government aims to have a clear and distinct outlook on the future.

These six facts about healthcare in Ethiopia exemplify a few of the effective actions that the Ethiopian government took through the use of development plans and organizations. While there is still plenty of work for the country to do, several actions have taken place in attempts to improve Ethiopia’s overall healthcare.

– Elisabeth Balicanta
Photo: Wikimedia