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A closet full of non-functioning equipment at a health clinic in Ethiopia. A closet full of non-functioning equipment at a health clinic in Ethiopia. Walt Ratterman

Assessing health facilities in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA - USAID conducted a two-week energy assessment of health facilities to make recommendations to PEPFAR.

USAID conducted a two-week assessment of Ethiopian health facilities in April 2008 to gain a better understanding of the energy situation in Ethiopian health facilities and make recommendations to PEPFAR on measures it can adopt to ameliorate the impact of energy problems on the delivery of HIV/AIDS programming. A member of the USAID/Washington Energy Team and a consultant visited 18 health facilities (health centers, hospitals, health posts, and regional labs) and met with government officials, PEPFAR implementing partners, other donors, and members of the Ethiopian private sector and civil society.

The assessment team discovered that problems with electricity supply and quality significantly limit the ability of Ethiopian health centers and hospitals to deliver health services, and the implications of additional electrical system needs imposed by PEPFAR-related programs are not adequately recognized or accounted for by the PEPFAR partners. As a result, many PEPFAR investments (particularly expensive, sensitive medical equipment) are at risk, and the ability of Ethiopia's health system to develop reliable networks to diagnose and treat HIV/AIDS is undermined. However, there are practical, cost-effective solutions that PEPFAR can employ to solve or ameliorate many of the energy problems confronting Ethiopia's health facilities and strengthen the impact of PEPFAR programming. These recommendations are provided in a report prepared by USAID.

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