Expanding Health Care in Ethiopia

The Center for National Health Development in Ethiopia

The Center for National Health Development in Ethiopia is a project of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, which supports efforts to better the health and lives of Ethiopian people by working on a variety of programs to meet substantive public health goals in the state. The center’s four main activities are outlined below, designed to serve as a model for national health beyond Ethiopia’s borders.

The Health Extension Program

The Center works to support the Ministry of Health’s innovative Health Extension Program (HEP), which seeks universal coverage of primary health care. The HEP’s goal of providing equitable access to health services is met by the prevention and control of communicable diseases with active community participation. The Ethiopian government has recently accelerated the implementation of the program to cover the entire country by training 30,000 health workers. Graduates will be placed in 15,000 villages to cover 12 million people by 2009.

Improving national health will be approached through four main program areas:

  • Hygiene and environmental sanitation
  • Disease prevention and control
  • Family health services
  • Health and communication

In cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health, the center will also serve as an independent evaluator of this and other programs through assessment of the implementation and related activities of the general health system. The center will also provide technical support in collecting baseline information used in evaluation.

The Millennium Development Goals for Ethiopia

The center actively supports efforts in many sectors to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Ethiopia. The Millennium Goals were endorsed at the UN summit September of 2000 to create time-bound and quantified targets by 2015 for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions including income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion, while promoting gender equality, education and environmental sustainability.

The Millennium Village Project

The center is the coordinating office for Millennium Villages in Ethiopia. The Millennium Villages Project plans to provide early successes on how to achieve the Millennium Development Goals outlined above within the villages of Africa. As the project achieves successes, it will work with local organizations and national governments to scale up these poverty-reducing measures to wider areas.

The Quick Impact Initiative

The Center is also the coordinating office for the UN Millennium Project’s Quick Impact Initiative on Malaria. This initiative marks a crucial opportunity for scaling up best practices and developing new approaches where needed to attain significant reductions in the malaria over the immediate term.