News / Africa

Ethiopia to Push Health Scorecard for African Continent

A mother quenches her malnourished child's thirst while waiting for food handouts at a health center in drought-stricken remote Somali region of Ethiopia, July 9, 2011.
A mother quenches her malnourished child's thirst while waiting for food handouts at a health center in drought-stricken remote Somali region of Ethiopia, July 9, 2011.
The Ethiopian government wants a uniform health evaluation process to be introduced in all of Africa to help reduce child deaths. The idea will be recommended during an upcoming African Child Survival Conference.
 
One goal of the United Nation's millennium development project is to reduce the child mortality rate in sub-Saharan Africa by two-thirds by 2015. So far the reduction has been 39%. Ethiopia stands out because it already has reached a 60% reduction in the mortality rate of children under five years old. The country is hosting a conference on child survival and will suggest ways to achieve a two-thirds goal.
 
The U.S. Agency for International Development, known as USAID, is a partner with the Ethiopian government on the project. USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah said he hopes all African countries will adopt a scorecard that publicly collects and reports health data.
 
“So we know where children are dying, what they are dying of and how we are making progress as efficiently and effectively as possible. Second we are asking every country to sharpen their country plans to focus on, in particular, low income children and communities and to reach them with the five, six most cost-effective and efficient interventions for savings children’s lives," said Shah. "In most countries that means tackling malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea. But also other causes like neo-natal mortality.”

Effective in Ethiopia

The scorecard consists of three components: input indicators that relate to policy issues and availability of resources; process indicators;  impact and outcome indicators that outline the data results.
 
Ethiopia Minister of Health Kesetebirhan Admasu said the scorecard has been introduced on all governing levels in Ethiopia.
 
“You can really track. If you see particular indicator rate indicator at the national level, you see which parts of the country are contributing for that indicator to be right at national level," Kesete said. "So it will also give you the opportunity to make sure that you have an equitable health service delivery system. We have to also try to redress the disparities we have in different parts of the country.”

The minister believes the scorecard can be adopted in all African countries.
 
Helping children

Sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind other regions of the continent in reducing under-five deaths. One in eight children in Sub-Saharan Africa still die before reaching their fifth birthday.
 
Ethiopia’s good results on improving health care coincide with a decade of rapid economic growth. Ethiopia also has received considerable financial aid from the West. USAID alone spent $985 million in the last three years in East African countries. But USAID does intend to reduce the dependency on foreign assistance over the next decades.
 
Kesete said Ethiopia's health sector is focusing on mobilizing more domestic resources.
 
“One of the most important interventions that would help us to mobilize more resources is health insurance scheme that we are trying to put in place. We have done it in thirteen districts in the last two years and this year we have decided to scale it up to more than 100 districts across the country,” said Kesete.

Shifting dynamics

The African continent is changing fast in several ways through economic growth and urbanization. Shah said efforts to control diseases stay the same despite these changes.

“The predominant causes of death remain infectious disease. So until you have dramatically reduced children dying from malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and in the first 48 to 72 hours of life from a range of causes in that period, it would not be an efficient thing to do, to shift resources to higher order urban care if your goal is to save as many children’s life as possible,” said Shah.

All African health ministers are expected to attend the conference on African Child Survival in Ethiopia on January 16 thourgh 18.

You May Like

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ephren from: Australia
January 13, 2013 7:51 AM
Hope these are not numbers just to make Us and Europeans happy to get AID money! Hope you people are not fudging figures with the precious lives of the poor Ethiopians who are dying everyday due to poor access of basic antin
atal and prenatal care. These days everything goes with the interest of the individuals involved...yet the truth shall set you free..so be truethfull when it comes to a life of a child and mother...it is a very special moment!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs