Innovating to beat malaria, tuberculosis, and threats to child health
Ethiopia’s recent economic growth has led to substantial improvements in health, including reductions in child mortality and in sickness and deaths caused by malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and HIV/AIDS. These diseases still present serious challenges, however, and each year more than 200,000 children under age five die.
While our office in Addis Ababa opened in 2010, PATH has worked in Ethiopia since 2007. We collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health, regional health bureaus, community-based groups, health providers, and others to address the country’s highest-priority health concerns. We take an integrated, data-driven approach and apply both novel strategies and proven solutions. Our work has had an invaluable impact on thousands of lives and is contributing to dramatic improvements in health systems and services in Ethiopia.
Our work in Ethiopia
Our strategic priorities in Ethiopia include integrated maternal, newborn, and child health services; prevention, control, and elimination of infectious diseases; digital health tools for system strengthening; vaccines and immunization; and integrated water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition interventions. Examples of our work include:
Malaria: PATH is helping to pave the way for malaria elimination in Ethiopia. This work ranges from research to the development and support of national strategies. PATH’s Malaria Control and Elimination Partnership in Africa collaborates with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Amhara Regional Health Bureau to test new strategies for creating malaria-free zones, such as community-based approaches for improved detection and the use of mobile technology to report, manage, and visualize data.
Tuberculosis: To increase TB detection and treatment, PATH focuses on community-based care, which requires close collaboration between the health sector and local communities. PATH has provided training and equipment to the government and service providers and supported novel strategies to increase TB detection with health extension workers. As a result, the number of patients receiving treatment has greatly increased.
Immunization and health system strengthening: To reduce deaths and disability from vaccine-preventable diseases, PATH works on behalf of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to improve routine immunization and accelerate the introduction and rollout of new vaccines, such as those for rotavirus and meningitis. All of PATH’s programs also have components aimed at strengthening the overall health system, especially by targeting specific populations and areas that aren’t being served.
Newborns and young children: Through the Optimizing the Health Extension Program, PATH is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health and regional health bureaus to increase the use of community-based services to improve newborn and child health in the Amhara and Oromia regions. To reduce deaths among infants who are unable to breastfeed, we are validating the use of the NIFTY™ cup (a low-cost, safe, and easy-to-use feeding cup) through a hospital-based study that could influence the use of the innovative product across sub-Saharan Africa.
Photo: Department for International Development/Tanya Axisa.