የአምስት ዓመቱ የእድገትና ትራንስፎርሜሽን እቅድ – ጤና [Five years Growth and Transformation Programme – Health]

In a recent interview with Ethiopian Television (ETV) UNICEF Ethiopia’s Health Specialist, Dr. Tedbabe Degefie said “There are 38 thousand Health extension workers in 15 thousand health posts around Ethiopia. They play a main role in achieving the countries goals by delivering service house to house and creating trust in the community.”

The programme which focused on Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Programme (GTP) also talks to Dr. Peter Salama – UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, who said “Ethiopia is one of the first countries to fully incorporate and integrate the global millennium development goals (MDGs) to its Growth and Transformation Programme, putting the country in a good position to fulfill the MDGs.”

See below the health part extracted from the full five years Growth and Transformation Programme in Amharic

To see the full programme on Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency – ERTA website click here.

Story on Ethiopia meets MDG 4 by cutting Under 5 mortality By Two-Thirds Since 1990.

Simple hand-washing with soap can cut hundreds of thousands of deaths: UN

In the Central Africa Republic in 2008, a child holds out a bar of soap. UNICEF distributed soap as part of a national immunisation campaign.

From Ethiopia and Yemen to Bolivia and Viet Nam millions of children are taking part in the sixth annual United Nations-backed Global Handwashing Day, driving home the message that the simple use of soap and water can slash highly preventable diarrhoeal diseases that kill 1,400 children under five every day.

“Washing hands before eating and after defecation drastically reduces the spread of diarrhoeal disease and has far reaching effects on the health and welfare of children and communities,” UN News quoted the global head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes, Sanjay Wijesekera, saying in a message marking the Day, whose theme this year is The Power Is in our Hands.

“The simple act of handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways to save children’s lives.”

In Ethiopia, some 5 million children are participating in handwashing demonstrations and workshops around the country. In Yemen, Global Handwashing Day celebrations will take place in 3,300 schools, involving 1.4 million children. There is also a mass media campaign aimed at sensitizing the public around hand washing. Read more

Sustaining gains in health sector crucial: Ministry

The Ministry of Health has said works in the health sector have to be undertaken in an organized way to sustain the change registered therein.
Speaking on 15th annual review of the health sector development held at Mekele town, Minister of Health Dr. Keseteberhan Admasu said it has been possible to bring about a change in the health development through expansion of basic health service and training 38 thousand health extension workers.

He said Ethiopia has become one of the seven countries that have already achieved the Millennium Development Goal in reducing child mortality. Read more

The importance of girls education in underdeveloped states

If you are able to read this sentence, you are one of the few fortunate individuals who have had a basic level of education.

Unfortunately for a majority of young girls in developing nations, having the ability to read is a privilege they are not able to enjoy.

Education for women is perceived more as a privilege than a necessity. Currently throughout the world, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are known to have the highest rates of illiteracy, including 62 per cent of women in Africa, and 71 per cent in Southern Asia (UNESCO).

These statistics can be traced to a variety of cultural and socio-economic factors in states where women are not deemed fit to explore career opportunities or basic education. This is often due to preset standards of a woman’s role within the home.

In certain instances, girls are subject to run the household at an early age, caring for younger siblings in the absence of a provider. In other instances, young girls are sold for a bride price before reaching the age of ten, thus dropping out of primary school to become a caretaker and wife (UNICEF). Read more

UNICEF celebrates International Day of the Girl Child

dayofthegirlEven though gender equality is on the table for the Post-2015 discussions, girls per se have little space in the discourse. In particular, girls’ education, acknowledged as the foundational basis not only for gender equality, but for a number of development outcomes is receiving limited and diluted attention.

Today October 11, 2013 International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated by UNICEF. As the lead organization for the day, UNICEF selected the theme “Innovating for Girls’ Education”, in recognition of the need for new, creative solutions to this very old challenge. We want to highlight the many different shapes innovation can take – technology is but one. This event provides an opportunity for global leaders from the UN, civil society and the private sector to hear girls’ voices and their innovative potential, and respond on how these can be reflected in the Post 2015 agenda, especially with regard to girls’ education.

UNICEF Ethiopia Goodwill Ambassador, Hannah Godefa, will be speaking during the event at HQ. Fifteen year old Hannah involved in humanitarian activities when she visited her native land, Ethiopia, for the first time. Coming from Canada, Hannah got her inspiration when she interacted with local girls from the countryside who lack access to basic education materials. ”Even though I was happy to see my extended family, I was also very sad to see children my age that do not get much food, medicine, quality education and orphaned due to HIV and AIDS.” said Hannah.

Touched by such an impoverished situation, she became the founder of “Pencil Mountain”; a resource mobilization project on basic school supplies to support children in remote areas of Ethiopia. More about Hannah Godefa

The event will be live streamed on http://www.unicef.org/gender/gender_66021.html and you can join the discussions by following #dayofthegirl and @UNICEFEthiopia on twitter

Check out inspiring stories from children in Ethiopia

Ministry of Education in Ethiopia launches Awareness Campaign on Back to School

Campaign aims to enroll nearly 3 million children out of school by 2015

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Student facilitator and 7th grade student Senait Berhane (3rd from right) is pictured with 4 and 5-year olds in Atsbi district, Tigray region, Ethiopia. After learning letters and numbers during Berhane’s summer break, the five children are now ready to enter school thanks to a UNICEF-supported Child-to-Child Programme (©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Negash)

16 September 2013: The Ministry of Education of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopiatoday launched a massive nationwide awareness campaign on going back to school and called on parents, communities and local leaders to bring their children to school.

The awareness campaign, which is being kick-started this week, as schools open across the country, is a drive that seeks to increase awareness of parents on the importance of education and support Ethiopia to meet its Millennium Development Goals on universal access.

“Over the last two decades Ethiopia’s Gross Enrollment Rate has soared, government has allocated a huge budget and admirable results have been achieved,” said His Excellency Ato Shiferaw Shugutie the Federal Minister of Education “Communities have owned education activities and increased the numbers of children coming to school, this campaign is a push to ensure that no child is left behind.”

Ethiopia has steadily increased the number of children in school in the last two decades from as low as 2 million in the 1990’s to over 22 million in 2012, trebling its Gross Enrollment Rates from as low as 32 per cent in 1990s to 95 in 2012. With the current Net Enrollment Rate of 86 %, Ethiopia is on track to meet MDG 2.

Mama’s tune- young children get ready for formal school through music

However, current data from the just completed Study on the Situation of Out of School Children in Ethiopia shows that 3 million children remain out of school, while enrollment rates reveal marked regional disparities with regions like Afar recording enrollments as low as 32%. Key barriers in the way of the country’s drive towards access to universal primary education include costs around schooling, lack of basic facilities and quality education. These are often compounded by negative and harmful traditional practices, like early marriage and the preference for boys over girls, which put education out of reach for many girls.

The media campaign seeks to mobilize communities, national leaders and international development partners to bring and keep Ethiopia’s children in school.

“Education remains the engine to drive Ethiopia’s long-term economic development prospects and it is clear that against all odd parents across this vast nation know this and are committed to bringing their children to school,” said Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia ” However, if we are to build healthier families, a better economy and a prosperous Ethiopia, families should educate more girls to a higher level.”

Ethiopia Reduces Mortality Among Children Under Five By Two-Thirds Since 1990

According to latest UN estimates, MDG4 Target Achieved 3 Years Ahead of Time

Ethiopian Minister of health Dr. Keseteberhan Admassu (second from left) holds up the sign declaring Ethiopia has met the Millennium Development Goal 4, reducing under 5 morality by two thirds, at a press conference in Addis Ababa on Friday. Angela Spilsbury of DFID (1st from left); Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia (3rd from left); and Pierre Mpele-Kilebou, WHO Representative to Ethiopia look on (Photo- ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2013/Ose) 

Addis Ababa, 13 September 2013 – The Ministry of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and UNICEF announced today that Ethiopia has reduced its under-five mortality by two thirds between 1990 and 2012- the required reduction for meeting the target of Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) on child survival. In 1990, the under 5 mortality rate was one of the highest in the world at 204/1,000 live births; by 2012, this rate had been slashed to 68/1,000 live births.

The announcement follows the release of the latest global and country data from the Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) and the annual report of the Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed Initiative, co-chaired by the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States. Globally, the annual number of deaths among children under 5 fell, from an estimated 12.6 million in 1990, to 6.6 million in 2012. Over the past 22 years, the world saved around ninety million children’s lives that may otherwise have been lost. Ethiopia has made a significant contribution to this success- each year around 235,000 more children survive to their fifth birthday than was the case 20 years ago in the country.

This achievement was driven by political commitment, advances in science and technology, and improvements in health, nutrition and family planning services, particularly in the rural areas. Indeed, Ethiopia has, in many ways, been at the forefront when it comes to ensuring basic services for women and children in the country.  In particular, by bringing basic health services to the doorstep of the rural population, the Health Extension Programme has made a significant contribution. Since 2003, more than 38,000 Government salaried Health Extension Workers, the majority of them young women, have been deployed to over 15,000 health posts right across the country.  “Achieving ambitious targets in the social sectors has been a central pillar of the Government’s Growth and Transformation Plan,” said Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, the Federal Minister of Health. “It is now clear that the key policy choices that we made in the health sector were the right ones.”

The announcement also carries broader significance since Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa and plays a critical leadership role on the continent through its current chairmanship of the African Union and its role in many other regional political and development fora. It also comes at a time when UNICEF and other development partners around the world are focused on accelerating progress in the final 1000 days until the MDG deadline. “In many ways the progress made in the health sector in Ethiopia has become a  powerful global symbol of what can be achieved in resource-constrained environments, and has given many international partners renewed faith in the enterprise of development,” said Dr Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia. “Ethiopia has become the child survival benchmark for other countries, implicitly challenging them to do more for their own children.”