Official Name Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Total area 1,104,300 square kilometres
Population 93,877,025 (July 2013 est.)
Capital City Addis Ababa



Ethiopia is a multilingual and multiethnic society of around 80 groups, with the two largest being the Oromo and the Amhara, both of which speak Afro-Asiatic languages.

Ethiopia is an agriculture-based economy, with coffee being a major export crop. While poor cultivation practices and recurrent droughts have strained the agriculture sector, a decline in the total population threatened with starvation has been achieved by recent joint efforts by the Government of Ethiopia and donors in strengthening Ethiopia’s pastoral resilience.
For 2013, Ethiopia plans to continue the construction of its Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile, a debated multi-billion dollar effort to produce electricity for domestic consumption and export.

Rural and urban life

By 2008, around 16% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Only 65% of rural households in Ethiopia consume the World Health Organization’s minimum standard of food per day of 2,200 kilocalories, and 42% of children under 5 years old being underweight. Nearly seventy five percent of poor families share their sleeping quarters with livestock, and 40% of children sleep on the floor, where nighttime temperatures average 5 degrees Celsius in the cold season. The average family size is six or seven, living in a 30-square-meter mud and thatch hut, with less than two hectares of land to cultivate.
Although conditions are drastically better in cities, all of Ethiopia suffers from poverty, and poor sanitation. In the capital, Addis Ababa, 55% of the population lives in slums. Hygiene is the most pressing necessity in the city, as most of the residents lack access to waste treatment services, thereby increasing the spread of disease through unsanitary water.


According to the head of the World Bank’s Global HIV/AIDS Program, Ethiopia has only 1 medical doctor per 100,000 people. However, the World Health Organization’s 2006 World Health Report gives a figure which comes to about 2.6 per 100,000.
Ethiopia’s main health problems are said to be communicable diseases caused by poor sanitation and malnutrition. These problems are exacerbated by the shortage of trained manpower and health facilities.
Health is much improved in the cities, life expectancy is higher, and use of better water sources is also greater, in spite of sanitation problems.

Major infectious diseases:
Food or water borne diseases: Bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vector borne diseases: Malaria
Respiratory disease: Meningococcal meningitis

Malaria Status

Malaria is a prominent health issue in Ethiopia. Approximately two-thirds of the population lives in regions where malaria is transmitted; the risk of malaria diminishes above 2,000 meters. Despite a low overall risk, malaria transmission in Ethiopia is characterized by recurrent and often significant epidemics, which tend to occur every five to eight years. Malaria has compelled people to live in the less agriculturally industrious highlands, and as Ethiopia is an agricultural economy, and peak malaria transmission overlaps with the sowing and harvesting season, it places a substantial economic burden on the country.
All population members of the population are equally at risk of severe disease, as to the unstable transmission pattern and low immunity. Although the majority of malaria infections are due to the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the species P. vivax constitutes 40 percent of all cases.
Programmes, such as the President’s Malaria initiative (PMI), provided support between 2004 and 2009 with antimalarial supplies and operations and focused chiefly on Oromia State – the largest, least assisted and malaria- afflicted of Ethiopia’s eleven regional states.
No large malaria epidemics were recorded in 2006 and 2007, however, data indicates that there is a suggested rise in malaria transmission in some regions of the country, including several focal outbreaks reported in SNNPR, Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia in the last five years. There appears to be an estimated 30% increase in malaria outpatient morbidity since 2007.
Annual inpatient malaria cases, epidemics and deaths have significantly declined through 2012, in comparison to the baseline year of 2004, even with the seeming rise in morbidity.
Between the period of March 2010 and April 2012, PMI aided in fully scaling up support in 10 high malaria transmission districts in Oromia region for malaria epidemic detection sites.
During the initial surveillance period, 239,960 patients attended health services at these sites. Over 40% of the patients were tested for malaria: 28% had a confirmatory diagnosis for either mixed or P. falciparum or only P. vivax, and the incidence of severe malaria was 0.3%, with one malaria death recorded.
Using the detection system, four district level malaria epidemics, as per WHO criteria, were detected.
In one of the districts, a P. falciparum epidemic persisted for nine months and resulted 62 hospitalizations and one death. The outbreak did not respond to rapid detection, satisfactory diagnostic and treatment services, and three rounds of IRS spraying. After special investigation, a significant lack of LLINs in the district was revealed, as well as evidence of vector insecticide resistance.

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