Project #15525

Supporting rural health centres in Ethiopia

by Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)


This project will enable rural people suffering from chronic diseases to receive essential care near to their homes from health workers who are appropriately trained and continuously supported and encouraged to develop their skills. Chronic diseases are an important cause of death and disability in many countries in Africa. Many of the premature deaths from conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, stroke and cancer, occur in low-income countries such as Ethiopia.
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The treatment gap (the number of those with chronic diseases who do not receive treatment expressed as a a percentage of the estimated whole) is unacceptably high for many rural people in Ethiopia. For example, epilepsy goes untreated and its stigma unchallenged, meaning that patients cannot lead a normal life. Patients with diabetes do not receive essential care which could prevent serious complications.


THET has been working for over 20 years with two rural medical schools in Gondar and Jimma to decentralise care from hospitals to rural health centres near patients' homes, saving them the cost of travel and loss of work. In the Jimma area, care for chronic diseases is now provided in eight health centres, and around Gondar, there are nine. Some were added at the request of commununities because they had seen the difference that treatment made to their friends and family.

Long-Term Impact

An outstanding Ethiopian physician, Dr Yoseph, with long experience in chronic diseases, including seven years in Jimma, has been recruited to extend this work locally and nationally as an integral part of the regular health service. This approach will help to build an equipped and integrated workforce for the longer term. This model of care for the rural poor is embedded within the national service and will also act as a catalyst for further staff development.


THET Home Page

Organization Information

Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Eldryd Parry
Professor Sir
London, London United Kingdom

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