The health workforce in Ethiopia: Addressing the remaining challenges

Originally published
View original


Berhanu Feysia, Christopher H. Herbst, Wuleta Lemma, and Agnes Soucat - Editors

Executive Summary

Health indicators in Ethiopia, particularly on child health and malaria, have improved significantly in recent years, with the next challenge now focused on improving maternal health indicators. Improvements in child health and malaria in particular can be attributed to strong government commitment towards health results, reflected in a number of notable policies and programs related to Human Resources for Health (HRH), in particular the health extension worker program. However, indicators related to maternal health remain problematic. Ethiopia has one of the lowest levels of assisted deliveries in the region. Although increases in the number of health workers particularly in rural areas may have contributed to improving access to some health services, it is in the government’s interest to further improve the stock, distribution, and performance of relevant health workers in Ethiopia, particularly to bring about improvement in access to maternal health services for the poor. This document reviews the current HRH situation in Ethiopia, summarizes the evidence on population use of select health services, and off ers relevant policy options to assist the government finalize its new Human Resources Strategy and address remaining health challenges.