Novartis Social Business Joins Forces With THET to Train Hospital and Health Center Staff in Ethiopia

This new partnership responds to a request for training and capacity building from the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to support its decentralization strategy for non-communicable disease services.
Dec 5, 2018 2:10 AM ET

We are pleased to announce that and The Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) have come to an agreement to train hospital and health center staff at 60 sites across Ethiopia, ensuring that patients no longer need to travel long distances to seek treatment against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs are a significant concern in Ethiopia. Almost 300,000 premature deaths a year are due to chronic diseases like diabetes, respiratory and heart conditions, and over four in ten Ethiopians will die due to a non-communicable disease (NCD). By 2040, NCDs are projected to cause almost 70% of Ethiopia's disease burden, up from 17% in 1990.[1],[2] 

NCDs are a particular concern in Ethiopia’s rural areas. Rural patients, many of them very poor, face long journeys to hospitals and health centers in difficult conditions and at high cost. They need access to NCD services closer to their homes.

The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) asked for training and capacity building to support its decentralization strategy for NCD services. THET has worked for over 20 years in Ethiopia, successfully decentralizing NCD diagnosis, treatment and care in the region.

This new program, which will be implemented with catalytic funding from Novartis Social Business and the support of Health Poverty Action (HPA) on the ground, will help train and build capacities of healthcare workers of multiple cadres in 60 primary hospitals and health centers selected by the FMoH for its next phase of decentralization for hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy and chronic respiratory disease. Once trained as trainers, hospital staff will support the training of health center staff on the diagnosis and treatment of NCD patients, ensuring community members no longer need to travel far for their regular treatment.

Through the project, 2,250 health extension workers will also be trained so they can bring NCD prevention and management education directly to local communities and to refer them appropriately.


“The Ethiopian government remains committed to scaling up NCD decentralization and is delighted to announce a further expansion to THET’s programme. This is one of the most challenging projects we have undertaken as we transform Ethiopia’s healthcare system, but we believe that THET, Novartis and Health Limited have the required experience and expertise to deliver this programme successfully.”
Dr Liya Tadesse, State Minister of Health

“THET is delighted to announce a new partnership with Novartis Social Business and Health Poverty Action in Ethiopia, in response to the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health’s (FMoH) request for support with its decentralisation strategy for NCD services.  This exciting new initiative represents an important expansion in our NCD programme and we look forward to building upon our success with this new collaboration.”
Ben Simms, THET’s CEO

“We are happy to support the efforts put in place by THET and HPA to help the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health decentralize health through catalytic funding and by bringing our experience from our capacity work in other countries.  Providing funding to reinforce local health systems can only work if is it aligned with a government’s strategy. We hope this collaboration will provide earlier and more effective diagnosis and care to patients with chronic diseases, improving the likelihood for better health outcomes.”
Dr. Nathan Mulure, Head of the East African cluster for Novartis Social Business

Learn more about Novartis Social Business:

Novartis Social Business | LinkedIn

Novartis Social Business | Twitter