In September 2013, two years ahead of the deadline, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and UNICEF jointly announced that Ethiopia had successfully reduced the under-5 mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2012. Ethiopia had already achieved Millennium Development Goal 4.1 In an effort to better understand Ethiopia’s remarkable achievement of MDG 4, a team of researchers, led by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health and other partners, conducted an in-depth Countdown Country Case Study, with support from Countdown to 2015.

The Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health report shows that despite political and economic challenges, rapid reductions of maternal and child mortality and dramatic improvements in reproductive health and rights are possible.

The report highlights 10 countries that mobilized action across society, using data to drive decisions to address their unique circumstances. As a result, in the 10 “fast-track” countries, there were 2.4 million fewer child deaths and over 70,000 fewer maternal deaths by 2013 when compared to 1990 mortality rates.

On track to meet many key health targets

Ethiopia’s network of health workers is a great asset as the country strives to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on health. The country is already on track to reach some of these targets by 2015, including those for reducing child mortality, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

ADDIS ABABA, February 28, 2013—The road to Dongore Difurda, a kebele or locality in Ethiopia’s large Oromia state, runs east from Addis Ababa. It is congested with traffic heading to Djibouti and the coast. About 125 km along this road, a vehicle would have to turn off onto an unmarked dirt track, passing donkey carts and grazing camels to reach the main village nestled beneath a low hill.

Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health designed a pay-for-performance (P4P) scheme that has not been implemented. It was intended to improve health care quality and utilization, and thereby the health outcome indicators associated with maternal and child health, family planning, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as with strengthening the health system.

Subscribe to Ethiopia