The United States of America has injected $40 million towards boosting Ethiopia’s health sector to provide quality and affordable healthcare services to its citizen.
With an estimated population of over 105 million people since 2017, the Horn of Africa country would greatly benefit from the finances.
The US, Ethiopia’s largest bilateral donor in the health sector has already invested over $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.
Health service delivery in Ethiopia is characterised by an inadequate number of well-trained health providers, limited health infrastructure and shortages of finance, equipment, and supplies, which on the flip side has offered opportunities for investors.
Commenting on the financial aid invested in the coming five years as part of the Health Financing Improvement Program launched yesterday, USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed said, “We look forward to continuing our joint work to tackle the challenges facing health financing as part of overall efforts to build a truly sustainable and resilient health system in Ethiopia.”
“Together, we can show other developing countries around the world that with the right political will and commitment, it is possible to lay the promising foundation to a self-reliant healthcare system, capable of providing high-quality health services to all citizens in every corner of the country” he added.
“Under the new program, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will work with the Ministry of Health to strengthen policy and financing reforms that enable public and private entities to better provide primary health services while reducing out-of-pocket expenses for Ethiopians,” a statement from the U.S Embassy read.
Ethiopia has a large, predominantly rural, and impoverished population with poor access to safe water, housing, sanitation, food and health service and the government is working to strengthen the healthcare system to align it with the Millennium Development Goals.
By the year 2020, Ethiopia seeks to reduce infant and neonatal mortality rates, decrease HIV contraction by at least 60 per cent and achieve zero new infections among children, lessen the number of TB deaths and incidence rate by 35 per cent and 20 per cent respectively and diminish malaria case incidence and mortality rate by at least 40 per cent.
The US – Ethiopia partnership has thrived with US firms also investing in different sectors in the country to steer economic development and growth. Ethiopia’s conducive business environment has also lured US tough competitors, Chinese investors under its umbrella of investment.
They have participated in the establishment of infrastructure through industrial parks that have created job opportunities for many citizens in the country.