Health Extension Program Model for Africa: WHO Representative to Ethiopia Featured

05 Apr 2018
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Addis Ababa April 05/2018 Ethiopia’s investment in the healthcare extension program in terms of physical access is a model to other African countries and the rest of world, WHO Representative to Ethiopia Akpaka Kalu said.

During a joint press briefing he held with Health State Minister Kebede, Kalu said “The investment in this country (Ethiopia) in the health extension program is a model for Africa that you are extending health care to where you are living and working.”  

He added that there is investment to even upgrade health extension programs; and that is key example to Africa and the world. "We are encouraging many countries to draw this lesson from Ethiopia. Recently there is investment to extend secondary healthcare and enhance referral systems.”

Kalu also pointed out that he notices investment in implementing community-based health insurance in the country, which he said is a move in the right direction.

“We as World Health Organization reassure you that we are committed to support Ethiopia, and support countries especially in Africa to ensure that universal healthcare coverage becomes a reality. When we say Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Everyone, Everywhere we are implementing the vision that no one should be left behind by 2030,” the WHO Representative elaborated.

Health State Minister Kebede Worku said on his part Ethiopia has been registering encouraging results in terms of providing healthcare for all communities across the country through the implementation of health package, which is foundation for the health extension program.  

Kebede added that the nation has managed to register tangible results through the implementation of health packages and building health institutions across the country.

In her message she sent in connection with the 70th anniversary of the World Health Day, WHO Regional Director for Africa Mathshidiso Moeti said adequate and sustained investment in health is necessary for ensuring equitable access to health services.

The regional director added that several countries in the Region, including Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal and Uganda, have demonstrated that removing user fees systematically increases utilization rates of health services.

Rwanda's health insurance scheme expanded access to quality health services for poor people from 7 percent in 2003 to 91 percent in 2010, according to Moeti.

She said “Ethiopia exemplifies how investment in health workers, and specifically community health workers, contributes to improved delivery of essential health services.” 

Moeti stated that “WHO will continue to support countries to build stronger, more resilient and responsive health systems to advance Health for all.”  

The 70th World Health Day is celebrated on April 7, 2018 under the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, everywhere.”

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