Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa and has the second-largest population on the continent, with an estimated population of 117.9 million.
The modern contraceptive prevalence rate for all women ages 15 to 49 is 29%. The maternal mortality ratio is 401 deaths per 100,000 live births. Of women ages 15 to 49, 26.3% have experienced physical or sexual violence.
Our Work in Ethiopia
EngenderHealth has worked in partnership with the Ethiopian government for over 30 years to enable millions of Ethiopians to take charge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Our programming responds to priority health needs by promoting high-quality integrated sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and maternal health services; strengthening health systems; preventing HIV among vulnerable populations; promoting SRHR education; and mobilizing communities to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). With a central office in Addis Ababa, as well as satellite offices throughout the country, we work in 320 districts across 8 regions and 2 city administrations.
Further, EngenderHealth’s Men As Partners (MAP) methodology, introduced to Ethiopia in 2007, demonstrated significant reductions in reported SGBV and is an important element of EngenderHealth’s gender-transformative programming globally.
A Rights-Based Approach for Enhancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights program was designed to ensure all people can fulfill their SRHR. The program was funded by The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and implemented in close partnership with the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and government partners. Through this program, we created awareness and facilitated policy dialogues to ensure local policymakers and implementers support those whose rights have been violated—particularly in instances of SGBV. The program developed legal frameworks, trainings, and a systems approach that coordinates SGBV response across health, justice, education, and other departments. EngenderHealth trained educators, healthcare providers, and decision makers to increase awareness of and access to SRHR services for young people.
EngenderHealth and consortium partners Amref Health Africa, Philips Health Africa, and Triggerise also improved the SRH status of young people—particularly pastoralists— through the A’Ago program. The program began in Afar in 2017, with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and expanded to include increasing access to comprehensive abortion care and postabortion family planning (FP) in Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region). To increase access to high-quality SRH services, we provided training on pharmaceutical logistics systems and basic comprehensive contraception. We integrated gender sensitization to ensure health facility staff provide unbiased information and services and used community-based activities to strengthen meaningful youth participation and address gender-based barriers.
Through our ABRI program, we worked with the Ministry of Health to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity by increasing contraceptive use and providing other SRH services. ABRI established strong foundations for the country’s SRH services by strengthening the linkages between communities and facilities for service referrals; providing targeted assistance for low-performing facilities; enhancing provider counseling and clinical skills; improving the integration of FP, maternal and child health, and HIV services; and increasing the government’s leadership, and ownership of SRH programs. Through ABRI, the number of facilities providing FP increased more than ten-fold, bringing life-enhancing SRH services closer to women in remote rural villages.
EngenderHealth’s SRHR Response for for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) program in the Somali region aimed to improve the accessibility and availability of high-quality SRHR information and services for underserved populations. With funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, we worked within existing structures, including government and partner systems, to create urgency around the SRH needs of IDPs, particularly girls and women. We adapted and implemented a model of gender-equitable SRHR programming and service delivery that enables IDPs to access a continuum of care for comprehensive SRHR, including particularly contraception, safe abortion care, maternal care, and prevention and clinical management of SGBV.
Through the Family Planning Integration in Ethiopia’s Primary Healthcare System (PHC) program, EngenderHealth collaborated with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to improve and strengthen the integration of FP services across Ethiopia’s PHC service delivery. Through this program, we supported the government’s efforts by undertaking a comprehensive national FP integration assessment and carrying out implementation research to generate learning on how to effectively integrate postpartum FP and postabortion family planning FP into existing health services. EngenderHealth applied the results of the assessment and research to develop an FP Integration Intervention Package designed to support the full integration of FP into the primary healthcare system by providing key recommendations, guidance, and tools with a focus on addressing sociocultural barriers to FP care and integration.
The Reach, Expand, and Access Community Health (REACH) program in Ethiopia’s Jimma and Borena zones is a four-year initiative funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This program aims to ensure access to information and services for integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights, menstrual hygiene management, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) services for women and young people. Through the REACH program, EngenderHealth leverages the experience of consortium partners and the resources provided by the program donor to implement holistic, integrated, and sustainable interventions and services for SRHR, WaSH, and MHM. Through program initiatives, we are addressing barriers to services faced by women and young people in underserved populations and foster an environment where they can access high-quality care.