Resource Spotlight: Ethiopia's Rural Care Crisis Eased by Community Health Workers

Almaz Doiso
Almaz Doiso

Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia is suffering from a severe health worker shortage. In 2005 the International Organization for Migration reported there are more Ethiopian doctors in the city of Chicago than in all of Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous country home to 82 million people.

Across Africa the health care worker crisis is most severe in rural areas, where 80 per cent of the population lives. In remote communities doctors and nurses are extremely isolated working in difficult conditions that lack resources. This article and the accompanying video tell the story of a community health worker, Almaz Doiso, in Ethiopia who is responsible for the health needs of more than 500 families in one of the most remote regions of the world - South Omo Ethiopia. It is community health workers like Almaz who are closing the huge gap in access to health care. [adapted from author]

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The HRH Global Resource Center has other resources on this topic including:

  • Community Health Workers and the Response to HIV/AIDS in South Africa: Tensions and Prospects
  • Do Lay or Community Health Workers in Primary Health Care Improve Maternal and Child Health and Tuberculosis Outcomes?
  • Can the Deployment of Community Health Workers for the Delivery of HIV Services Represent an Effective and Sustainable Response to Health Workforce Shortages?: Results of a Multicountry Study
  • For additional resources on this topic, visit the Community Health Worker subject category.

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