About Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia

The presence of Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia dates back to the 1960s with extended services by the Flying doctors services. In 1998, it was registered as Amref Health Africa, Resident International Charity (NGO) and opened its project office in Addis Ababa. It remained a project office until 2002, when it became a fully-fledged Country Program.

Since 2002, the country program has grown from one project in Addis Ababa city with 11 staff to about 26 projects in five regions (Addis Ababa, Afar, SNNPR, Amhara and Oromia) with 156 staff in 2014.

Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia delivers programs on: Maternal health, Child health, Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Communicable diseases, Clinical Outreach services, Emergency Nutrition, HEWs and Midwives Training and Operational Research. The training and the clinical outreach programs are implemented nationally across all regions of the country.

Where we work

Where we are in Ethiopia

Where we work

  • Addis Ababa; Amref Health Africa implements projects on – 4 sub cities:
    • Urban WASH services to slum dwellers in Addis Ababa in 4 sub cities.
    • Community PMTCT services in Addis Ketema sub city
    • Reducing surgical waiting lists and backlogs in referral hospitals
  • SNNPR South Omo and Segen Zone of Southern Nations Regional State (15 districts):
    • Pastoralist and semi pastoralist health systems strengthening (MNCH/SRHR, communicable diseases (TB, HIV and Malaria), WASH, and Capacity building)
  • Afar (32 districts):
    • Pastoralist health systems strengthening (MNCH/SRHR, WASH, Communicable diseases (TB, HIV, Malaria), HRH and HMIS, Nutrition) and Emergency Nutrition
  • Amhara: Youth reproductive health in North Shoa (14 districts)
  • Nationwide – in 7 regions
    • Training for Human Resource for Health including the Health Extension Workers  upgrading programs – in collaboration with 22 public colleges across the country and the FMOH
    • Clinical services and medical equipments maintenance in over 15 hospitals
    • Research
  • Oromia – upcoming plan for trachoma/WASH interventions

Programme Finances

In 2013/14 annual budget for Amref Health Africa Ethiopia programmes has reached around $9.7mil. Amref Health Africa offices in the Europe & Northern America have played great role in fundraising for Amref Health Africa Ethiopia country office. Business communities though Amref Health Africa offices in the north have contributed significantly. In the 2011-13, at least 31% of funding for Amref Health Africa Ethiopia was raised from the private sector in the North. The private companies/corporate include Swedish Broadcast Cooperation, Diageo, GSK, Euromoney, Opal foundation, Lundin, Prana, Medicor, Ferguson, Barr foundation, etc. We also have received significant amount of funding through bilateral government funding including The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DFID, EU, CIDA and multilateral sources e.g. UNAIDS.

Proportion of funding efforts from various countries that supported Amref Health Africa Ethiopia FY 2012/13

Figure 1 Proportion of funding efforts from various countries that supported Amref Health Africa Ethiopia FY 2012/13

Proportion of funding efforts from various countries that supported Amref Health Africa Ethiopia FY 2012/13

Few selected achievements of Amref Health Africa Ethiopia

  1. Clinical outreach programme gained FMOH recognition, conducted 9,450 consultations under range of specialties and performed over 4,000 surgeries reaching out in rural settings
  2. Afar project areas skilled delivery increased from 19% to 34%
  3. In South Omo project areas young pregnant mothers, aged 15-24 years, 84% reported to have had received ANC services at least once in their recent pregnancy in early 2013
  4. Health facilities (incl. health posts) constructions/renovations and equipping (example only in South Omo Amref Health Africa increases PHC coverage to 175,000 people directly (30% increase)
  5. Availing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in rural settings and urban slums and in rural communities e.g. in Afar we increased the number of people using improved sanitation facilities from 3270 in 2011 to 7057 in Dec 2012; also Number of people with access to clean drinking water from 3480 in 2011 to 16,241 in June 2013. We have also increased access to improved sanitation facilities in public places like schools, health centers and markets.
  6. Community-based malaria control in Afar – using participatory malaria prevention toolkit (PMPT) and distributed over 200,000 ITN. From 2007 to 2013, there is increased proportion of children sleeping under ITN (from 68% -75%) and pregnant mothers from 78% to 85%. Assessments showed that 96%  of households own at least 2 ITNs
  7. Amref Health Africa Ethiopia was assigned by the FMOH in the development of learning materials and modules and training of HEWs in Ethiopia through blended learning mechanism in partnership with UNICEF & Open University.
  8. Trainings: Amref Health Africa supported training of 535 HEWs for Afar region; In 2010 - 2011  a total of 204 HEWs graduated- aiming at promoting facility-based & skilled birth attendance; 130 midwives on training (for Afar region); 20 diploma to Masters level training for the region in collaboration with universities and Amref Health Africa training center Nairobi.

Our Vision

Lasting health change in Africa

Our Mission

We are committed to improving the health of people in Africa by partnering with and empowering communities, and strengthening health systems.

Our Promise

  • Improve the lives of disadvantaged people in Africa through better health
  • Bridge gaps between communities, health systems and governments
  • Be a leading force for advocacy for health system reforms in Africa
  • Be a leader in the NGO community, developing and documenting best practices and training programmes

Health priorities and business plan

Amref Health Africa focuses her health priorities on the health of women and children, believing through them the health of the whole community can be improved. In 2011, Amref Health Africa launched its three year Business Plan 2011-14 that defines our health priorities under seven Amref Health Africa’s Strategic Directions (SD) namely:

  • SD1: Making pregnancy safe and expanding reproductive health
  • SD2: Reducing morbidity and mortality among children
  • SD3: Scaling up responses to HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • SD4: Preventing and controlling diseases related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
  • Increasing access by disadvantaged communities to quality medical, surgical and diagnostic services
  • Developing stronger research and innovation base to contribute to health improvement in Africa
  • SD7: Develop a stronger and unified ONE Amref Health Africa

To attain these, Amref Health Africa based its programmatic approaches on three main health system building blocks namely:

  • Human Resources for Health – this includes training and re-skilling of community and other cadres of health workers
  • Health Management Information Systems – we believe in the use of health information for planning and programming
  • Community Systems Strengthening – this includes giving communities knowledge and skills to promote good health, engaging with grassroots structures, and strengthening linkages between communities and health facilities

Our Partners

Partnerships are a key element of our approach. We learn from, influence and partner with communities, local and national governments, other development agencies, donors and corporate entities.

Amref Health Africa, Ethiopia office has partnerships at the national and regional levels with the Federal Ministry of Health (the Bureau of Finance and Economic Development (BOFFED) , Water Resource Bureau, Construction and Housing agency, Education bureau, Addis Ababa Administration office. In addition, Amref Health Africa collaborates with local Universities like Mekelle Ayder University; and Arbaminch University aiming at increasing quality of research products as well as staff research capacity strengthening.   Also, it has strong partnership with different government health care institutions such as hospitals, health centers etc and media organizations. Additional partnerships are under development. Also efforts are on going to have partnership with the AU. This will be Amref Health Africa-wide partnership with AU not only for Amref Health Africa Ethiopia.

Amref Health Africa Ethiopia is a board member at CCRDA a large consortium of over 300 member organizations, CORHA with over 100, and CANGO network of 25 NGOs that have offices in Canada.  We are also sitting in an AU steering committee for Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa.

Where Amref Health Africa Ethiopia wishes to be

  • Increase Amref Health Africa visibility in Ethiopia and beyond
  • Programme growth – in funding and coverage
  • Aiming at diversifying further our funding sources for longer term funding with more engagement of public and private sector bringing in PPP health models for impact realization
  • Fostering competency
    We are geared to excellence aiming at delivering high quality programmes

Selected major Awards Amref Health Africa received over the years

  1. The Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA) Award on Human Resources for Health (HRH) presented at the 3rd Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Brazil (2013).
  2. African Development Bank eHealth Awards 2013 – Amref Health Africa won under the section ‘Empowering the Health Workforce’
  3. World Federation of Public Health Associations – 2012. The Award is given during the World Congress on Public Health in recognition of the organisation's outstanding achievements in and contributions to the field of public health.
  4. Amref Health Africa was ranked no.28 in the 2013 edition of the top 100 NGOs by the Global Journal, an international publication concerned with global governance, issues and players. This was a significant jump of 53 places from no. 81 in 2012. This year, the Global Journal focused their ranking on three key criteria relevant to the activities of NGOs – impact, innovation and sustainability
  5. Contribution to Pastoralist award- 2013 to Amref Health Africa Ethiopia: Amref Health Africa received federal level award, in recognition of Valuable Contribution for the successful support of the pastoralist Community in SNNPR during National Pastoralist day that took place at Yabelo Town. The award was handed over by H.E. The Prime Minister Ato Hailemariam Desalegne escorted by H.E Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Federal Affairs.
  6. Amref Health Africa Flying Doctors won the 2011 prestigious Air Ambulance Provider of the Year Award during the International Travel Insurance Conference (ITIC) 
  7. Gates Award for Global Health – 2005. The award, worth $1 million, was established in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, for major and lasting contribution to the field of global health.
  8. Medical Honors Award – 2004. Amref Health Africa received the Medical Honors Award from Discovery Health Channel, USA for its extraordinary lifesaving work of nearly 50 years in improving the health of millions of people in Africa.
  9. Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award – 1999. The world’s largest humanitarian award which honors tireless commitment by Amref Health Africa to bring health care services to the most remote areas of the continent. Annual $1.5 million dollar award


Ethiopia Highlights Issue No. 1