USAID partners with Ethiopia for better health


The United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Ministry of Health, launched a five year project to digitize the Health sector. The agency earmarked 63 million USD.
USAID Mission Director Sean Jones and Minister of Health Dr. Amir Aman inaugurated the new activity on November 14, 2019 at Hilton Hotel, which builds 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.
The support will back the continued efforts of investments in digital information solutions to further strengthen the country’s health system and improve the quality of services.
The five-year project of Digital Health Activity will train end-users including doctors, nurses, health extension workers, and policy-makers at all levels of the health system to utilize technology more effectively and enable them to better serve patients and families across the country.
“Digitizing the system alone doesn’t mean getting solutions end to end rather it is working on the mind set of all stakeholders,” Amir stressed.
According to the Ministry of Health, currently 88 percent of health centers are digitized and the rest 22 percent will incorporated in this fiscal year, adding that the support from USAID is pertinent to the move.
For five years, USAID will also 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.
The Digital Health Activity will also create opportunities for entrepreneurs and youth-led tech organizations to utilize their expertise in providing support to health centers.
“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 Sean Jones.
USAID’s Digital Health Activity is implemented by JSI and a consortium of partners.
The United States is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately 150 million USD per year in funding for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, the United States has provided approximately 4 billion USD in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.
The digital health activity helps to integrate and scale up priority health information system at all levels.
“Digitalizing health systems mean a lot for the Ministry as it corrects the data and improves information about the health of our population,” the Minister added.