The United States Government has announced that it will be handing over three newly constructed Health Centers to the Amhara Regional Health Bureau in Ethiopia.
The new health centers were constructed through U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Ethiopia Health Infrastructure Program, which is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
According to a statement from the government, as a result, more than 75,000 people in Welela Bahir, Addis Bete Christian, Dabat and surrounding areas will have better access to essential health services, including immunizations for children, safe childbirth delivery, HIV care and treatment services, and more.
Speaking at the handover of the Welela Bahir Health Center, USAID’s Acting Mission Director Alicia Dinnerstein said, “Without a doubt, a healthy population is a critical building block for any country to achieve its development goals. Investments in health care are so important to ensure that communities are strong and have the ability to take advantage of progress being made in education and economic development. That is why USAID has invested heavily in Ethiopia’s capacity to expand and improve its public health programs.”
Through an agreement with the Ministry of Health, USAID constructed the centers, while the Government of Ethiopia will provide the electricity connections, staff, and equipment to ensure that the centers can provide quality health services to their communities.
Over the past decade, USAID has built 22 health centers in Ethiopia, 10 pharmaceutical storage warehouses, and has renovated an additional 10 existing health facilities through the PEPFAR initiative. In addition, USAID is currently constructing a new National Blood Bank, which is scheduled to be completed and handed over to the Ministry of Health in the coming month.
The United States is the largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $200 million per year in funding for HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal, and child health; nutrition; tuberculosis; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, through USAID, the United States has invested $3.5 billion in development and humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia over the past five years.