US-Ethiopia partnership in urban health

 February 13, 2014 

The U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), on Wednesday launched a programme aimed at strengthening Ethiopia’s urban health service delivery and access to 1.6 million households in 49 cities across the country.
The USAID programme is an extension of a previous five-year project implemented between 2009 and 2013 executed at the cost of $20 million by John Snow, Inc. with additional funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), supported by the Ethiopian government.

The new program is expected to expand and improve on the existing partnership between USAID and Ethiopia focusing on key areas including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis as well as maternal and child health.

According to a statement the USAID will provide technical assistance for the improvement in the quality of household health services, referral links across health facilities and urban sanitation.

Ethiopia’s Health Minister, Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu said at the launch that his government’s priorities in the primary healthcare system is to focus on innovative community-based approaches to reach the growing number of urban dwellers who estimates suggest increase in the coming decades.

The last Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2011 indicated that people living in urban settings have a strikingly low health status including an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 4.2 percent, five times higher than the prevalence rate in rural areas, with home delivery of about 50 percent and neonatal mortality of 41 per 1,000 live births.

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