Japanese Grant to Support Health Ministry Deploy Mobile Clinics in Remote Areas

ADDIS ABABA – Ministry of Health is set to deploy mobile clinic vehicles in hard to reach areas in five Ethiopian regions with the support of new Japanese grant.

On Wednesday, Ethiopia and Japan signed an Exchange of Notes for the Grant Aid for the Procurement of Mobile Clinic Vehicles worth close to 3.5 million US Dollars.

State Minister of Finance, Semereta Sewasew, and Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia, Takako Ito, signed the JPY 500 (approximately 185 million birr) grant agreement.

The Ministry of Health identified five regions for support as having poor health service coverage and higher maternal mortality rates compared with other regions in the country.

Accordingly, 10 mobile clinic vehicles will be procured to be utilized by hospitals in the Afar, Somali, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Southwest Ethiopia Regions.

Some are regions with many pastoralist populations where people are constantly moving and often away from health facilities, causing restricted access to health services during pregnancy, labor, delivery and the postnatal period.

Health Minister Dr Lia Tadesse, who witnessed the signing of the grant agreement, said the mobile clinics will particularly be key in improving maternal health services.

“My great appreciation to the Government of Japan for the generous donation of 10 mobile clinics,” said Dr Lia.

The mobile clinics, the Minister said, will “improve access to maternal, newborn and other health services in hard to reach areas” of the regions.

The vehicles will be equipped with ultrasound, electrocardiograph and basic medical equipment, according to the embassy of Japan in Addis Ababa

The clinics are expected to benefit around 800,000 pregnant and lactating women in the regions.

The signing of the Grant agreement follows the commitment made by Japan to expand Universal Health Coverage in Africa at the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8) held in Tunis, last month.

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