USAID Global Health Leader Dr. Atul Gawande Promotes U.S. Health Care Priorities and Investments in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, September 11, 2023 – Last week, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr. Atul Gawande addressed the International Conference on Primary Health Care in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Dr. Gawande also visited U.S.-supported local health clinics and hospitals and attended a formal handover of Paxlovid (the first FDA approved oral treatment of COVID-19 in adults) with Minister of Health Dr. Lia Tadesse. 

In his keynote address at the International Conference, Dr. Gawande noted that by 2030 there will be an estimated shortage of 10 million health workers worldwide—with 50 percent of this shortage in Africa. This health worker shortage will have severe consequences for the healthcare workforce and for global health at large. To combat this issue, Dr. Gawande detailed Primary Impact, USAID’s new global initiative to enable countries to deliver well-integrated and coordinated primary health care services. 

This theme—strengthening primary health care—carried throughout Dr. Gawande’s visit to Addis Ababa. Dr. Gawande and USAID’s health team met with leaders from the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, Africa CDC, the World Bank, the Malawi Ministry of Health, Zanzibar Ministry of Health, local implementing partners, and others.  

Around the city, Dr. Gawande visited the Janmeda Health Center and Ferensay Health Center, which deploy paperless information systems and community-based health insurance supported by USAID. 

He also visited St. Peter Hospital, where USAID has provided technical and financial support to Ethiopia’s tuberculosis (TB) control and prevention program for the past two decades—helping Ethiopia reach both the Millennium Development and Sustainable Development Goals for TB control and saving hundreds of thousands of lives.  

Lastly, Dr. Gawande visited the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to donate 3,900 treatment courses of Paxlovid, the first FDA approved drug to treat adults with COVID-19.  He also awarded $500,000 in funding for technical assistance to Minister of Health Dr. Lia Tadesse for a “test-to-treat” program that will ensure timely initiation of COVID-19 treatment drugs to prevent progression into severe disease.  

To learn more about the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership visit: U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and follow U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa | Facebook and Twitter