On November 30th 2018, the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia (FMOH), in collaboration with the International Primary Health Care Institute organized a high-level meeting in Addis Ababa, to discuss findings from the the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG era, discuss their implications for Ethiopia and propose new initiatives to improve health system quality.
A total of 127 participants were in attendance including H.E. Minister of Health Dr. Amir Aman, H.E. State Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse, Heads of FMOH directorates, Heads of Regional Health Bureaus, as well as key stakeholders from international organizations, donors and technical partners. The event was moderated by Dr. Ephrem Tekle Lemango, Executive Director, International Institute for Primary Health Care and Commissioner for the Lancet Global Health Commission. The meeting agenda can be found here.
Dr. Daniel Burssa, Director General of Medical Services (FMOH), gave the welcoming speech followed by keynote addresses by Dr. Roman Tesfaye (World Bank), Dr. Azmach Gebregiorgis (WHO Ethiopia) and Dr. Rachel Cintron (USAID Ethiopia) who described their organization’s commitments to high quality health systems.
H.E. Dr. Lia Tadesse, State Minister, discussed in her opening speech the need to innovate in the SDG era and to move from focusing solely on access to focusing on the quality of health services.
Dr. Munir Kassa, Director of the Health System Quality Directorate (FMOH) presented Ethiopia’s current quality strategy and discussed progress to date, challenges faced and future priorities. He highlighted potential interventions to accelerate the quality agenda in Ethiopia including the need to measure quality better, to improve data quality, create a shared vision on quality, to improve primary care and create learning hubs. Dr. Munir also presented the idea for a quality dashboard to improve accountability and monitoring of health system quality at the national and regional levels.
Professor Margaret Kruk, Harvard Chan School of Public Health and Chair of the Lancet Global Health Commission, presented findings from the Commission focusing on data from Ethiopia. She also discussed the potential for service delivery redesign to improve health outcomes by maximizing the use of existing resources in Ethiopia.
Following a stimulating Q&A session with the audience, H.E. Dr. Amir Aman provided closing remarks. Minister Amir’s comments can be viewed here (in Amharic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL75x8ssxqI Other media coverage: https://fanabc.com/2018/11/በኢትዮጵያ-በየአመቱ-ከ177-ሺህ-በላይ-ሰዎች-ጥ/
During the two days prior to the event, we also had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with key stakeholders to discuss the report’s main findings and ideas for action to improve health system quality in Ethiopia. Our private meetings included:
- State Minister, H.E. Dr. Lia Tadesse, FMOH
- Oromia Regional Health Bureau, Dr. Derege, Director
- Gates Foundation Ethiopia, Dr. Solomon Zewdu
- UNICEF Ethiopia, Gillian Mellsop, Shalini Bahuguna, Ann Robins
- IHI Ethiopia, Dr. Hema Magge
- USAID Ethiopia, Rachel Cintron
- DFID Ethiopia, Dr. Luwam Gari
- World Bank Ethiopia, Dr. Anne Bakilana, Roman Tesfaye
We thank the Harvard Fenot project team members for their support during our visit in Ethiopia!