Remarks by Thomas H. Staal at Ethiopian Health Infrastructure Project (EHIP) Groundbreaking Ceremony
H.E. Kebede Worku, State Minister
Dr. Betru Tekle, Director of the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control (HAPCO) Office
Ato Kare Chawicha, SNNP Regional Health Bureau Head
Local government representatives
Ladies and gentlemen
It is my honor to represent the US Government at this groundbreaking ceremony for USAID’s Ethiopian Health Infrastructure Project.
I would like to first recognize the Ministry of Health, for their leadership in developing and implementing policy and programs to support system strengthening and infrastructure development in health. USAID and our partners could not be successful without the engagement of committed government partners, at the federal, regional and local levels. Thank you.
As a critical component of the fourth Health Sector Development Plan, the Government of Ethiopia has embarked on an ambitious Accelerated Expansion of Primary Health Service Coverage program with the goal of increasing the number of public standard health centers from approximately 630 in 2009 to over 3,200. These new health centers will increase availability and use of primary care services, meeting the goal of one health center for every 25,000 Ethiopians.
In addition to construction of the new health centers, the Government of Ethiopia also recognizes the need to renovate certain existing facilities to repair physical, structural, or functional deficiencies.
In 2008, USAID committed to the construction and renovation of health facilities through its Ethiopia Health Infrastructure Program. And finally, through generous funding provided by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in January 2010, USAID awarded a five-year, $60 million USD contract to International Relief and Development to provide engineering design, construct new health centers and renovate existing health centers.
USAID is pleased to announce that these facilities will improve access to HIV counseling and testing, and increase adherence to live-saving medicine by ensuring those in need are able to receive quality HIV/AIDS services closer to home.
In addition, these 25 new and 40 renovated facilities will ensure the availability of quality Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health services, including antenatal and postnatal care, institutional delivery, sexual and reproductive health services, and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, fully supporting the Ministry of Health’s new PMTCT Acceleration Plan.
To provide these services, the design of the centers must fit the needs of the patients. The USAID-supported design, which was collaboratively developed with Tetra Tech, International Relief and Development, and representatives from the Federal Ministry of Health, will increase the size of waiting and registration areas, add additional rooms such as laboratories and exam rooms, include a separate clinic for infectious diseases and improve ventilation flow and waste management systems. We will also introduce handicap accessibility in all of our facilities.
Supporting health systems helps USAID ensure that results achieved through our programs will be sustainable. We have confidence that by building up health infrastructure, we can make a lasting impact on the availability of quality health services in Ethiopia.
We proudly support the Government of Ethiopia’s Accelerated Expansion of Primary Health Service Coverage program, and we look forward to returning to inaugurate the new Jaradado Health Center!