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Health System Strengthening at Fitche Hospital
Over the last two decades, Ethiopia has decreased its maternal and child mortality rates, as well as its HIV and malaria infection and death rates. Despite all of these advances, major challenges remain. Ethiopia's tumultuous history of conflict, war, and famine over the past half century has had a significant impact on the health services available to the Ethiopian population.
Health service delivery in Ethiopia is characterized by an inadequate number of well-trained health providers, limited health infrastructure and shortages of finances, equipment, and supplies. Ethiopia’s population still faces high rates of mortality and their overall quality of health is poor. Disease, measured in terms of premature death, is 74% of all deaths in the country, which is the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ethiopia, 67% of all deaths of children aged under five-years take place before a child’s first birthday.
The emergency department is often an individual’s entry point into a hospital like Fitche. Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR) is committed to improving health systems in Ethiopia – and thereby the health of communities – and in 2016 we launched the Health Systems Strengthening at Fitche Hospital project that is still ongoing.
Fitche Hospital is a 102 bed zone hospital located approximately 125 km from Addis Ababa in the Fitche District of the North Shoa Zone of Oromia. This is one of the poorest regions in the world and has one of the highest newborn child mortality rates in the country. Fitche Hospital serves approximately 1.5 million people and is a referral center for 57 Health Centres and 297 Health Posts in North Shoa Zone. Resources (both personnel skills and medical equipment) in this hospital are markedly limited. CPAR’s Healthy Communities project is a five-year initiative, which aims to strengthen the capacity of patient services in North Shoa Zone of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia.
The goal of the Healthy Communities project is to improve Fitche Hospital’s ability to provide health services in Oromia region, with an emphasis on strengthening its emergency medicine provision. This is a people-centric project, focusing on knowledge transfer from Canadian medical expertise to the Fitche Hospital. This will be achieved through the development of a knowledge-sharing partnership between Canadian medical practitioners and the medical staff at the Fitche Hospital and the procurement of necessary medical equipment and supplies to the hospital.
These goals will be realized through:
Procuring required medical equipment and other necessary supplies.
Renovating the current building to improve emergency department efficiency.
Creating standardized teaching modules in partnership with Ethiopia’s Selale University.
Recruiting Canadian medical practitioners with emergency experience to facilitate knowledge and skills sharing between Canadian medical practitioners and the Fitche Hospital.
Upon completion of the goals above, CPAR will begin work towards:
Helping Health Centres support healthcare delivery and the training of community health workers.
Establishing remote technologies for educational purposes, as well as clinical support and diagnosis.
Improving communications and coordination with the Fitche Hospital administration and medical staff to monitor priorities and creating checklists and scorecards to monitor improvements.
If you are a doctor or a nurse or you know someone who might want to participate in the Fitche Project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.