New U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Visits JSI Urban Health Project Sites

May 2nd, 2018 | News

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Michael Raynor, the new U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia; Alicia Dinerstein, USAID/Ethiopia’s deputy mission director; and other USAID representatives recently visited project sites supported by the USAID-funded Strengthening Ethiopia’s Urban Health Program (SEUHP) in Hawassa town in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region.

Ambassador Raynor, Ms. Dinerstein, the USAID representatives, and Ministry of Health officials visited a number of health facilities, including Millennium Health Center. The health center, one of six in Hawassa supported by SEUHP, employes 54 urban health extension professionals (UHE-ps) and serves 140,740 people. The facility is the only in Hawassa that is piloting Ethiopia’s plan for primary health care reform.

The team also visited Wurko, one of the largest kebeles served by Millenium Health Center. The head of the UHE-ps in Wurko, Misrak Abebe, talked to the visitors about the services that UHE-ps provide to the community and the challenge of being responsible for more households than each UHE-p can adequately serve. Misrak was proud to say that UHE-ps provide home visits free-of-charge to the community. Community members expressed their gratitude for the UHE-ps and their services, which they say have improved their lives.

Ambassador Raynor and the others made a final stop to meet the family in a Wurko household that is regularly served by UHE-ps. This family spoke highly of the support it receives from UHE-ps. The ambassador was impressed expressed his appreciation for SEUHP’s contributions to improving urban health at the community level.

The visit concluded with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony that community members prepared to thank Ambassador Raynor, Ms. Dinerstein, and the others for coming to their kebele.

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