The story of NCDs and injuries in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a large East African country of over 90 million people, 83 percent of whom lived in rural communities in 2012. Like most developing countries, Ethiopia is facing a double burden of diseases both communicable and non-communicable. According to the WHO 2014 report, NCDs accounted for 30% of death in Ethiopia. NCDs have multiple causations with highly interactive risk factors, including infectious diseases such as Streptococcal infections, which will require integration across existing health programs in order to reach patients at the community level. Injuries, particularly road traffic injuries, are also posing a major challenge to the health of the population. Ethiopia’s health service delivery facilities are overcrowded with patients visiting them from preventable injuries.
The primary health care system in Ethiopia is comprised of health posts, health centers, and district hospitals, and is the access point to NCD and injury care for the majority of the population, especially the poorest. Through this national model, health extension workers provide decentralized care and follow-up services at the community level.
Under the leadership of Dr. Mahlet Kifle Habtemariam, the NCD Division in the Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has spearheaded strategic and operational planning for noncommunicable diseases and injuries in Ethiopia. The Strategic Framework for the prevention and control of chronic NCDs was finalized for 2011 – 2016. The National Strategic Action Plan (NSAP) was developed for 2014 – 2016, including full costing.
In order to implement the proposed national action plan on NCDS, the ministry requires wider technical supports.
Goals of the partnership with NCD Synergies
The FMOH is partnering with NCD Synergies to hire a Technical Assistant to support operational planning for the expansion of decentralized and integrated NCD services at the primary health care level. The FMOH and Technical Assistant will be working with partners such as Addis Ababa University to ensure that operational efforts are targeted at controlling diseases affecting the poorest populations, such as rheumatic heart disease.
Through the joint effort between the FMOH and NCD Synergies, the Technical Assistant will support in:
- Developing an operational plan to implement an integrated NCD response at the primary health care level in Ethiopia, with rheumatic heart disease control as a key outcome
- Supporting the ongoing work of the NCD Division in strategic planning and operations
- The FMOH continues to focus on implementing the national strategic action plan on NCD (2014-2016).
- Build additional national and regional capacity on prevention and control of NCDs
- The FMOH plans to develop national cancer control plan within the framework of national action plan for NCD prevention and control
Sources: World Databank, Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health