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Ethiopia is a low-income country that is facing the double burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Old killers such as HIV/AIDS, diarrhoeal diseases and malnutrition have high rates of prevalence, whereas non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as acute respiratory infections, mental disorders and cardiovascular diseases are on the rise.

Blue leaf
Blue leaf

Organisational Update

The developments in Ethiopia have caused us great concern, and we have been working to understand the impact on our staff there and on our work. We are pleased to say that staff members are currently safe and well, and we sincerely hope that you and your colleagues are also safe.

We have established a regular communication with the Ethiopia team to track any changes or developments.

To read our full statement, please click here.


Our work in Ethiopia began in the early 1990s as a result of requests from the Deans of the Jimma and Gondar Medical Schools to our founder Professor Sir Eldryd Parry for development of the skills of their young specialist and trainee doctors. Strong partnerships were then formed between these Medical Schools, UK health institutions and THET.

We soon realised that the rural patients, many of whom were very poor, were facing long journeys to hospitals and health centres in difficult conditions and at high cost needed care near their homes. So a programme of decentralised care at health centres around Jimma and Gondar, with training of local nurses and health officers, began; to date it has transformed the care of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) for rural people.

The partnerships formed in Ethiopia over twenty years ago have continued to be hugely influential in the development of the Health Partnership model. Jimma and Gondar are now centres of excellence for decentralised care and the service continues to provide and expand its training for Health Extension Workers.

The THET Ethiopia NCD Alliance was created in 2016 in recognition of the diverse group of organisations and institutions that work together to achieve the same vision. To find out more about our work please visit: www.thena-ethiopia.org

For further information about THET and THENA’s work in Ethiopia, please contact our Country Coordinator, Kat Brassington.

You can read our Ethiopia Strategic Plan 2017-2021 here.

NCDs account for


of deaths in Ethiopia.

Current Projects

Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Project

AIM: To increase access to services through training and capacity building.


  • Federal Ministry of Health
  • Novartis
  • Health Limited

NCDs are neglected in Ethiopia and are a significant concern, particularly in the rural areas. Hypertension, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases are three of the four most prevalent NCDs in the country, and they are a growing epidemic among the rural population. The resulting morbidity and mortality burden is high, with the conditions covered by this programme being responsible for 24% of all deaths: cardiovascular diseases account for 9% of mortality, chronic respiratory diseases account for 3%, diabetes accounts for 1% and other NCDs account for 11% (this includes epilepsy).

Our solution is to deliver a comprehensive, phased training and capacity building package to 60 selected sites that will allow services for hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy and chronic respiratory diseases to be offered closer to communities across Ethiopia.

To do this we are:

  • Developing the capacity of general practitioners, nurses and other health workers at hospital level; nurses, health officers, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and data officers at health centre level; and health extension workers (HEWs) at the community level, all of whom are tasked with tackling NCDs in their communities. They will be trained, supervised and mentored in their roles throughout this project.
  • Planning and delivering additional awareness raising activities in support of the HEWs, including with churches, mosques, community leaders, traditional healers.

You can read more about how patients are benefiting from our NCD project in this blog from Novartis.

Take a look at our latest impact report here.

The country needs

over 10,000

orthopaedic surgeons.

Ethiopia needs over 10, 000 orthopaedic surgeons but presently they have less than 500, serving a massive population of over 100 million people. This need is further exacerbated by the huge cost road traffic injuries put on surgical teams around the country. In total, every year, almost 5000 Ethiopians die from road traffic accidents.

THET has funded several partnerships working to change this including:

  • Through a partnership between the University of Oxford and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) orthopaedic surgical capacity was strengthened in the COSECSA region through the delivery of paediatric orthopaedic surgery and hip and knee surgery courses to 90 trainees in Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia and Malawi. Many of these trainees (see Nardos below) also undertook fellowships at CURE hospitals across the region. Read more on this partnership by clicking here.
  • The partnership between NDORMS, University of Oxford and CURE Ethiopia Children’s Hospitals has enabled medical residents from across Ethiopia to take part in specialised training courses, ultimately improving both the provision and practice of paediatric and orthopaedic surgery. Tim Nunn is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at CURE Ethiopia, situated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Charlotte, Communications Officer for THET, met him and his team in June 2017 – read this story by clicking here.
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Dagen has spent a month and a half in the hospital, being treated by Nardos, following a road traffic accident. Thanks to her orthopaedic surgical training, they have been able to avoid amputation and are working to drain the pus from both of his broken legs, with much success as Dagen tells us he is feeling much better already.

University of Oxford and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) Partnership.