Nation moving confidently to attain MDGs health targets: Ministry

Addis Ababa, April 29, 2011 (Addis Ababa) - The Ministry of Health said though handful years remain for countries towards the deadline for MDGs Ethiopia is moving confidently to attain health targets on time.

In an exclusive interview with ENA the Ministry Public Relations and Health Communication Director, Ahmed Emano said desirable results have been registered in attaining MDGs targets towards child and maternal mortality, malaria, Tuberculosis, (TB) and HIV/AIDS.

Accordingly, he said the maternal and child mortality has declined to 470 per 100,000 and 101 per 1000 respectively.

The 4th Health Sector Development Program (HSDP) has also eyed at reducing maternal and infant mortality rate below 267 per 100,000 and below 31 per 1000 respectively.

Owing to coordinated efforts in malaria prevention, he said malaria has not occurred in an epidemic scale over the past six years in the country.

Anti-malaria activities including distribution of more than 35 million chemically treated canopies and spraying activities were undertaken in 78 percent of malaria-prone localities, he said.

The director said the anti-malaria activities have remarkably reduced the death tolls caused by malaria over the past years.

Concerning prevention of tuberculosis (TB) Ahmed said due to the expansion of services free of charge the nation has now managed to cure 84 percent of the TB patients.

However, he said due to drug resistant TB and patients’ failure to take the prescribed medicine is the major hurdles towards efficient TB treatment.

Ahmed said efforts are underway to treat more patients and raise the awareness of the public regarding the disease.

The director said HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was 7.7 percent 10 years ago. Currently it has declined to 2.2 percent as a result of intensive efforts being undertaken to curb the spread of the disease.

The coordinated effort to reach out more patients is paying off, he said and added, ART receivers have reached more than 200,000 from only 9,000 in the reported period.

The ministry and development partners are working intensively to reach out more victims through the system that has already been put in place to provide free services nationwide.

According to Ahmed, the ministry and development partners have forged coordinated effort more than ever to realize health targets in the MDGs and in the Growth and Transformation Plan.

P: 3:30:4:15pm