Ethiopia: Our Impact

 {Photo credit: Jiro Ose, SCMS}An Ethiopian warehouse after support from SCMS, USAID and PEPFAR.Photo credit: Jiro Ose, SCMS

The Ethiopian government is undertaking a bold initiative to ensure that medicinal supply and access are available throughout the country. A major challenge is reaching a population whose majority lives in rural areas. Through a series of centralized and regional hubs, this initiative aims to serve thousands of health centers all over the country and overcome the hurdle to reaching patients. Achieving this aim is a complex undertaking, which is becoming increasingly more so as the diversity and volume of medicines regularly expands.

 {Photo credit: Beth Brundage Murphy for MSH}Participants enjoying the Health for All Campaign launch in Ethiopia this year.Photo credit: Beth Brundage Murphy for MSH

Health for All: The Campaign for Universal Health Coverage in Africa, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, is supporting governments in three African countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya) in their efforts to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).

The Management Sciences for Health (MSH) global team of over 2,300 people from more than 70 nations is commemorating World AIDS Day 2012 in over 30 country offices around the world, including Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Haiti, and the United States.On World AIDS Day, MSH Nigeria, in collaboration with the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership, Chevron, and Access Bank Plc, will be hosting a launch of the award-winning film titled “INSIDE STORY: The Science of HIV/AIDS” in Lagos, Nigeria.

Most African countries are slowly moving toward achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to provide access to appropriate health care services for all at an affordable cost. Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), “Health for All: The Campaign for Universal Health Coverage (UHC)” will support existing government initiatives towards universal health coverage and equitable health reform in four African nations: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.

Dr. Eliud Wandwalo. {Photo credit: MSH.}Photo credit: MSH.

MSH works with international, national, and local partners to strengthen the capacity of health systems, national tuberculosis (TB) programs, and health managers to improve the lives of those affected by TB and prevent the spread of the disease. MSH participates in several global TB initiatives, including USAID’s Tuberculosis CARE I Program (following the TB CAP program); the STOP TB Partnership; and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Sileshi Idris recording TB data at Fito Health Center, Ethiopia. {Photo credit: Kelem Kebede/MSH.}Photo credit: Kelem Kebede/MSH.

“I once had tuberculosis myself. I was stigmatized by the community and could not receive appropriate treatment. My own suffering encouraged me to serve the community so I could protect more people from being infected by TB,” said Sileshi Idiris, a clinical nurse and tuberculosis (TB) focal person at Fito Health Center in Ethiopia. Despite his enthusiasm to work as a TB focal person, Sleshi initially lacked the knowledge and skills to properly care for TB patients. Sleshi needed clinical skills training and guidance on how to follow Ethiopia’s national TB control guidelines.

Staff from a medical team at Gerems Health Center who were trained by HEAL TB to identify individuals with TB symptoms and refer them to a health center for treatment. {Photo credit: Dr. Kassahun Melkieneh/ MSH.}Photo credit: Dr. Kassahun Melkieneh/ MSH.

Twenty-two-year-old Melkamu Belete was misdiagnosed and left without proper treatment for six months. Although Melkamu had visited four health facilities to be treated for a cough, fever, and loss of appetite, the health care staff did not test him for tuberculosis (TB). Instead, each facility sent him home with antibiotics that did not heal him. Despite worsening symptoms, Melkamu eventually gave up and stopped seeking medical advice.

The USAID-funded TB CARE I project, led by KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV) in partnership with Management Sciences for Health (MSH), is conducting a pilot study in 28 health facilities in Ethiopia to roll out standard operating procedures (SOPs) for improved tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis, treatment, and care.The SOPs include instructions for TB screening, irrespective of the patient’s presenting illness or chief complaint.

Seid Eshetu, 38, is a father of two children aged 7 and 10, living in Tehuledere Woreda of Amhara, Ethiopia. Seid visited Haik Health Center a year ago because of regular coughing and general weakness. His community-based health extension workers advised him to be tested for HIV.Seid was shocked to learn that he was HIV positive.

Equbay Desta (left) in Fasti Health Center, Ethiopia. (Photo credit: MSH.)A remarkable change has happened in Fatsi Health Center in eastern Tigray, Ethiopia, in terms of patient quality of care and adherence to treatment, willingness of HIV-positive people to disclose their status and HIV/ AIDS care and treatment of family members. The number of patients who have dropped out of care or stopped taking their medicine has dropped to zero.

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