In a bid to promote greater health access and improved health status of city dwellers, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with Ethiopia's Ministry of Health has launched a programme called "Strengthening Ethiopia's Urban Health Programme".
one of our priorities in the primary healthcare system is to focus on innovative community-based approaches
The health programme is expected to target key areas such as HIV, tuberculosis and maternal and child health.
The US development agency will provide technical assistance to Ethiopia to improve the quality of household-level health services and referral links across health facilities.
Urban sanitation and waste management will also be two of the programme's major concerns.
Health minister, Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu said the programme has taken the growing number of Ethiopians that "will live in urban settings in the coming decades" into consideration.
"So one of our priorities in the primary healthcare system is to focus on innovative community-based approaches to reach the growing number of urban dwellers," the minister said.
Official documents indicate that a high number of Ethiopians in urban areas face several health challenges, with an HIV prevalence rate of 4.2 percent—five times higher than the prevalence rate in rural areas.
Urban areas also record about 50 percent of home deliveries and neonatal mortality of 41 per 1,000 live births.
The five-year, $20 million programme, implemented by John Snow, Inc., and partially funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), is a continuation of the previous USAID Urban Health Extension Programme, which supported government-led efforts in expanding urban health from 2009 to 2013.