The United States marked the completion of its seven-year Strengthening Human Resources for Health project that improved skills training for nearly 50,000 health workers to enhance the quality of care and services in Ethiopia. Under this program, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invested in more than 90 public and private higher education institutions to improve the quality of curriculum and practical training for various health disciplines, including physicians, midwives, anesthetists, health extension workers, emergency medical technicians, and biomedical technicians.
The project also supported the Ministry of Health in developing a 10-year human resources strategic plan to help Ethiopia meet the growing demand for quality healthcare services, as part of joint U.S.-Ethiopia efforts to improve workforce capacity throughout the national health system.
"This is an excellent example of how investments in people - in this case, investing in building a skilled workforce for a stronger health system - results in positive measurable impacts like developing 50,000 skilled health workers. More importantly, it results in positive impacts that are immeasurable, like the happiness that a mother and father feel when they look into the eyes of their newborn baby for the first time, after a safe and successful childbirth," said USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed.
USAID's Strengthening Human Resources for Health project is implemented by a Jhpiego-led consortium of partners, including Management Sciences for Health, the Ethiopian Midwives Association, the Ethiopian Association of Anesthetists, the Open University and Project Mercy. U.S. development programs like this project invest in the capacity of Ethiopian institutions and the Ethiopian people to address their own needs. The United States is the largest bilateral provider of support to Ethiopia's health sector, with approximately $200 million per year in funding for HIV/AIDS; malaria; maternal, neonatal and child health; nutrition; tuberculosis; and water, sanitation and hygiene. Overall, the United States has provided approximately $4 billion in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia over the past five years.