Ethiopia: Health and Welfare

Posted: March 6, 2008 in History
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Health and Welfare

The main cause of many of Ethiopia’s health problems is the relative isolation of large segments of the population from the modern sector. Additionally, widespread illiteracy prevents the dissemination of information on modern health practices. A shortage of trained personnel and insufficient funding also hampers the equitable distribution of health services. Moreover, most health institutions were concentrated in urban centers prior to 1974 and were concerned with curative rather than preventive medicine.

Western medicine came to Ethiopia during the last quarter of the nineteenth century with the arrival of missionary doctors, nurses, and midwives. But there was little progress on measures to cope with the acute and endemic diseases that debilitated large segments of the population until the government established its Ministry of Public Health in 1948. The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United States Agency for International Development (AID) provided technical and financial assistance to eliminate the sources of health problems.


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