U.S. Support to Modernize Ethiopia’s Health System

ADDIS ABEBA – Ministry of Health and United States aid agency, USAID, launched a 63 million US dollars five-year project to modernize Ethiopia’s health system.

Minister of Health Dr. Amir Aman and USAID Mission Director Sean Jones announced the inauguration of the new project, namely USAID Digital Health Activity, on Thursday.

It aims to build on U.S.-Ethiopian efforts to create a modernized health information system that ensures the entire sector has the data, analytics, and skills necessary to improve the health and well-being of all Ethiopians, according to USAID.

The five-year USD $63 million Activity plan to train end-users including doctors, nurses, health extension workers, and policy-makers at all levels of the health system.

They will be enabled to utilize technology more effectively and empower them to better serve patients and families across the country, the aid agency said.

The project will partner with local universities to introduce courses that develop competencies in health innovations and electronic solutions, and establish career paths that empower young Ethiopians to drive digital solutions across the sector.

Dr. Amir also said his Ministry had worked to ensure information revolution for the past four years in areas of digitization, enhancing data use culture, and strengthening governance structure.

The effort led to cover all regions, zones, woredas, and 78% of health centers with high-speed broadband internet and the full roll-out of an electronic data collection system.

The newly launched Activity will also create opportunities for entrepreneurs and youth-led tech organizations to utilize their expertise in providing support to health centers, Officials said.

“In addition to simply expanding digital health systems and strengthening the skills of today’s medical professionals, we are also increasing our focus on developing the leaders of tomorrow to drive health innovations far into the future,” said USAID Mission Director Jones.

USAID’s Digital Health Activity is implemented by JSI and a consortium of partners.
Washington is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately $150 million per year in funding.

Overall, the United States has provided approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.