Ethiopia has a ten year national reproductive health strategy and a child survival strategy in place. There exists a Ministry of Health led health, population and nutrition sector coordination group, which incorporates a child health coordination mechanism and a reproductive health coordination mechanism. These two task forces are the major MNCH coordinating groups. A resource mapping exercise has also been initiated by the national health financing secretariat with the support of the World Bank and the Ministry of Health, with its partners, has also conducted a funding gap assessment.
In order to satisfy the high demand for health workers in communities, the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia has put in place a Health Extension Support Program based on the deployment of trained Health Extension Workers (HEW) working out of small community health posts to Kebeles (communities of approximately 1000 people). Two HEWs are allocated to each Kebele. Based on recommendations made by UNICEF and USAID on the program progress, the Ministry has decided to provide support to each pair of HEWs in the form of 20 Community Delivery Agents, who will have undergone a shorter training than HEWs. To date, progress has been regular and over half of the anticipated 30 000 HEWs are on the ground. Community response to this program has been very positive, with community members mobilizing around HEWs and volunteering to act as health promoters, sensitizing and disseminating information on maternal health.
The Ministry of Health is also in the process of refurbishing selected health centers and training 5000 'clinical officers' for provision of basic medical and surgical services out of those centers.
The Partnership has been very involved in Ethiopia. It has participated in numerous meetings/workshops with principle donors and partners about how to harmonize coordination mechanisms and how to increase funding.
In June 2006, The Partnership, Ministry of Health and partners conducted a national review of family health programs. One result of this research was an adaptation of the IMCI training to include newborn health and HIV issues.
In July 2006, The Partnership was launched regionally in Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Health has also in collaboration with the University of Addis, a consortium of associations for reproductive health and numerous NGOs conducted a review of in country maternal reproductive health programs and developed an 'implementing best practices' guide.
To promote partner alignment behind the Health Sector Development Program, last year the Ministry of Health developed a set of guidelines for partners based on Paris principles of harmonization and alignment (referred to as the “Addis Accord”); this accord was signed by the Minister and most major partners, and has been institutionalized in a “Harmonization Manual”.