The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today marked the end of its five-year Health Sector Financing Reform/Health Finance and Governance Project in Ethiopia. The project has helped more than 16 million people cover their medical costs through community-based health insurance programs.
The program allows participants to receive a special ID card that assures direct access to hospital and clinic visits, treatment for sickness or injury, and an array of other health services, allowing them to overcome routine and life-threatening illnesses.
“A family can purchase Community-based Health Insurance for the cost of two chickens, and know that they will be assured health services in the event that they are needed, whether it is coverage for cancer, heart disease, injury, surgery, or any other ailment or medical need,” said USAID Deputy Mission Director Stephen Morin at a special event highlighting the progress of reforms in the health sector.
“These families—who would otherwise have faced financial ruin or been left with the literal choice between life and death—are now more resilient, and more empowered to seek services and demand improved care.”
USAID also worked with hospitals and health help them effectively use revenue collected from community-based health insurance registration fees, which total more than USD $66 million since 2013.
This money has been to renovate facilities, procuring new equipment, supplies, and medicines, and improving the overall quality of care. As a result, more than 90 percent of hospitals and health centers across the country—or nearly 3,600 facilities—are now retaining and investing their own money to better serve their communities.
The project was completed in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health and is just one example of the way that the United States is working to support self-sufficiency in Ethiopia’s heath sector.
The United States is the largest bilateral donor to Ethiopia’s health sector, with approximately USD $200 million per year in funding for HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; tuberculosis; and water, sanitation and hygiene.
Through USAID, the United States has provided $3.5 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.