Policy Brief: Integrating Rehabilitation into Primary Health Care in Ethiopia

In close partnership with the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia (MOH), the Accelerator has finalized a landscape analysis and accompanying policy brief to assess Ethiopia’s health system readiness for rehabilitation service integration at the primary healthcare level and to provide evidence-based recommendations to the MOH on how to increase provision of and access to rehabilitation services through this integration.

Key takeaways include:

    • While there is a lack of data on rehabilitation and assistive technology (AT) service provision in Ethiopia, it is clear that the current infrastructure, supply chain systems, and human resource capacity are insufficient to meet the population’s needs.
    • Rehabilitation has gained the attention of Ethiopian policymakers in recent years, as seen in the development of the five-year National Rehabilitation and AT Strategic Plan and the ongoing effort to restructure rehabilitation within the health sector. However, the strategic plan and other guiding documents lack specific action items, such as a clear package of interventions, strategies to ensure sufficient rehabilitation workers and financing mechanisms to promote affordability.
    • Integrating rehabilitation into the PHC level brings services closer to individuals in need, allowing for sooner diagnosis and identification of problems in functioning, closer monitoring of patient progress and adherence to treatment plans, and referrals to other levels of the health system.
    • Executing this integration will require a comprehensive approach addressing all health system building blocks.

Many thanks to the MOH and other rehabilitation stakeholders who supported this effort, including Mr. Ermias Mulatu, Head of the MOH’s Specialty and Rehabilitation Desk.

Download the full resource here.