Northern regions in Ethiopia have been operating with reduced or disrupted health services. We supported regional administration and the government in recovering health facility services quickly by giving technical support and advice.

The crisis in Ethiopia’s northern area has caused significant disruption across health services. Regions such as Afar, Amhara and Oromia are affected by disruptions in primary health services.

For the last two years, we have been providing assistance in these areas to improve immunisation performance and support the recovery of health services. The lack of data to assist decision-making, the interruption of routines, and the restricted engagement of partners are key factors that limit services and halt recovery.

In order to speed up the reestablishment of health services, our team has given support in the following areas:

Enabling data-driven decision-making 

Often there is an extended lead-time to deliver support in conflict-affected regions due to the lack of data. In Afar, one of the regions that the conflict affected most heavily, we had limited data on the number of health facilities that had been damaged as well as the size of the affected population. We developed a health-facility functionality dashboard that maps their status across the entire region and the size of the population served by each facility. This enables regional administration to identify potentially underserved communities and guide resource prioritisation to rapidly restore services.   


Figure 1: Afar health facility functionality tracking dashboard

Ensuring routines are maintained

In conflict-affected areas, performance management meetings are often disrupted. In regions where connectivity is good, we sustained performance routines through virtual review sessions. This has allowed the government to sustain performance and quickly identify and solve operational challenges.

Leveraging partner networks to enable quick problem-solving 

Effective problem-solving often becomes a question of resources. In Oromia for example, one in four health facilities did not have any functional cold chain equipment. We helped the government to secure the quick maintenance of over 200 pieces of cold chain equipment since September 2021 by engaging partners in regional problem-solving sessions.


Figure 2: Maintained fridges in Oromia region: Sep 21-Feb 21


Iman Abdulkarim Mubarek & Miki Wondimeneh