For Immediate Release
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia October 13, 2012. In support of the Government of Ethiopia’s Health Sector Development Plan, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Strengthening Human Resources for Health (HRH) project at the culmination of the Federal Ministry of Health’s (FMOH) Annual Review Meeting in Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara Region. Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom and USAID Mission Director Dennis Weller addressed the invited health officials and academic partners from every region of Ethiopia.
The goal of the project is to improve the well-being of Ethiopians through increased availability of capable health professionals at all levels of health care in the country to reduce infectious diseases such as Malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and maternal, newborn and child sickness and death.
To fill critical shortages in human resources for health management, HRH will work with universities, regional health science colleges, and vocational schools and regional health bureaus to increase the availability of midwives, anesthetists, health extension workers and other essential health workers and also improve the quality of training of health workers. For example, the program plans to train over 5,500 midwives, over 2,000 anesthetists, and over 8,000 health extension workers. Current health workers will be upgraded through in service training and new postgraduate programs will be established.
By increasing the number of skilled and proficient health professionals who’ll prevent the needless deaths of mothers and children, the HRH project will ultimately contribute its share toward the country’s attainment of MDG 4 and 5.
Human resource issues extend well beyond pre-service and in-service education of health workers. The new project will address regulatory and management factors critical to the success of the FMOH Strategic Plan for licensure and certification of providers and accreditation of teaching institutions and clinical practice sites, as well as health workers’ recruitment, deployment, management, motivation and retention.
Strengthening Human Resources for Health is a five year (2012 –2017) $55 million dollar USAID program including funding from the US President’s Program for Emergency AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). Implementation is led by Jhpiego and includes Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Ethiopia Midwives Association (EMA), Ethiopia Association of Anesthetists (EAA) and Open University.
USAID Mission Director Dennis Weller explained the importance of the new project: “This program is designed to support Ethiopia’s goals for producing a responsive and productive health workforce and will help sustain advances achieved in the health sector and provide great opportunities to health workers at all levels. Health systems strengthening for the long term is one of the priorities of the U.S. Government’s Global Health Initiative, including the Presidential Initiatives for Malaria and for HIV/AIDS, known by the acronym PEPFAR. The US Government, through USAID and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), invests the largest share of its support for development in Ethiopia in health. This new Human Resources for Health program will help ensure that investment lasts and benefits the majority of the Ethiopian people.”
Last updated: November 29, 2012