Amref Health Africa Launches a $28 million Integrated Health System Strengthening Project

by Amref Health Africa

The Project aims to benefit more than five million people across five regions.

Addis Ababa, July 2024: Amref Health Africa, in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Ethiopia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, proudly announces the launch of a new $28 million ‘Integrated Health System Strengthening (IHSS)’ project. This transformative initiative aims to enhance the availability, readiness, and equitable utilization of quality health services in Ethiopia. By focusing on improving Primary Health Care (PHC) governance, health financing, and essential health system inputs, IHSS is poised to benefit 5.3 million people across 50 woredas in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Sidama, and Somali regions, IHSS is set to benefit 5.3 million people.

At the official launch of the project, H.E. Dr Dereje Duguma, State Minister for Health Services & Programs at the Ministry of Health emphasized, “The IHSS project represents a strategic investment in building resilient health systems that can effectively respond to the diverse health needs of our population.”

Dr Addis Tamire, a Senior Director for Health System Investments for Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia, hailed the project as ‘’a trailblazer for evidence-based health system transformation”, highlighting its potential to revolutionize health service delivery at the grassroots level.

Mrs. Susna De, Deputy Director for Health and Nutrition, Ethiopia – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, stressed, “Strengthening capacity and resources at the sub-national level is essential for achieving broader health systems goals and ensuring equitable access to health care services across Ethiopia.”

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, Senior Director for Health System Strengthening at Amref Health Africa, noted “Amref’s new Corporate Strategy places building resilient health systems at its core, making IHSS project launch a true reflection of our mission.”

The IHSS project integrates interventions at subnational levels to address critical bottlenecks in primary health care facilities. This initiative aligns closely with the MoH’s commitment to strengthen Ethiopia’s health system through a primary healthcare approach, striving towards Universal Health Coverage.

The launch convened Regional Health Bureau heads, senior Ministry of Health officials, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation leadership, and key stakeholders. It also featured the dissemination of a comprehensive study conducted to assess the capacity and performance of the primary health care system in 15 selected woredas.

Over the next four years, Amref Health Africa will implement the IHSS project in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Regional Health Bureaus, and other partners. This Amref-led initiative represents a collaborative effort where the government leads, donors coordinate, and IHSS orchestrates, following the unified investment approach of ‘One Plan, One Report, One Budget,’ to ensure streamlined and efficient resource utilization.

Notes to Editors

About Amref Health Africa, Ethiopia

Amref Health Africa is the largest African-based and led international health development organization serving over 30 million people annually across 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Strategically engaging with communities, governments, and local partners for the past 65 years, we work through our European and North American network of sister organizations on program implementation, advocacy, fundraising and partnership. Our subsidiaries include Amref Flying Doctors, Amref Enterprises Limited, and Amref International University. Our organization is driven by its vision to bring lasting health change in Africa and its mission to catalyze and drive community-led and people-centred health systems while addressing social determinants of health. Amref believes that the power to transform Africa’s health lies within its communities, and therefore strives to ensure that health systems are functioning at an optimal level and communities are empowered to hold these systems accountable for the delivery of high-quality and affordable health care.

Amref has been active in Ethiopia since the 1960s and became fully operational in 2002. We have been partnering with the Ethiopian government and local communities to co-create solutions and implement diverse health and development project portfolios in the country for over twenty years.


Media Contacts

Kenaw Gebreselassie, Communication Manager,

[email protected]

Hilina Abraham, Sr. Communication and Knowledge Management Officer,

[email protected]

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