Ethiopia Unveils 2nd Essential Health Services Package

By Staff Reporter

Health-Package-EthiopiaNovember 12, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopia has unveiled the 2nd essential health services package tailored to achieve universal health coverage across the country.

The revised health service package aims to provide access to quality health services for all Ethiopians with full financial risk protection regardless of age, ability to pay, economic status, and geographic locations.

Launching the package, Minister of Health Dr, Amir Aman said all citizens of the country—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have—would get access to quality healthcare services without suffering from any financial hardship.

The main health concerns in Ethiopia include maternal mortality, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS compounded by acute malnutrition and lack of access to clean water and sanitation.

Information obtained from the ministry, a limited number of health institutions, inefficient distribution of medical supplies and disparity between rural and urban areas, due to severe underfunding of the health sector, make access to health-care services very difficult.

It is estimated that more than half of the Ethiopian population lives more than 10 km from the nearest health facility, usually in regions with poor transportation infrastructure.

By implementing the new health service package, the country’s health ministry aims to reduce the high burden of disease, mainly non-communicable, and protect the population against catastrophic diseases with full financial risk protection.

With the 2nd health services package, the government is set to increase the efficiency of the health system, raise public participation and transparency in decision-making in the health sector.

Ethiopia’s revised essential health service packages include 1019 health services with special focus on reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health, major communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, surgical and injury care, emergency and critical care, neglected tropical diseases, hygiene and environmental health services, health education and behavioral change communication services and Multi-sectoral nutrition interventions.

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), namely cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes caused 50 percent of national deaths as opposed to less than 25 percent 20 years ago.

The ministry has identified key strategic priority areas to implement the revised health packages including enhance community participation in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Essential Health Services Package; Improve the availability, competency and capacity of human resources for health;  Ensure sustainable health financing and a clear and viable payment mechanism and Strengthen the logistics and supply chain management system to ensure access to essential medicines and equipment.

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