Addis Ababa September 28/2022/ENA/ The government of Japan and Ethiopia has signed a 35 million USD grant aid for the procurement of 10 mobile clinic vehicles to be utilized by hospitals in Afar, Somali, Benshangul Gumuz, Gambela, and South West Ethiopia regions.

The support is expected to provide benefit to around 800,000 pregnant and lactating pastoralist women located in far distances from health facilities in the regions.

Finance State Minister, Semereta Sewasew and Ito Takako, Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia signed the agreement today.

During the signing ceremony, Finance State Minister Semereta Sewasew said that the government of Japan, since the commencement of cooperation of the two countries, has extended development assistance through various modalities.

The major focus of the development assistance has been on infrastructure development, agricultural productivity, human development as well as private sector, she added.

“Over the last two decades the Ethiopian government has been committed and continues to reduction of maternal and child death through the expansion of primary health and strengthening community health programs,” the State Minister pointed out.

According to her, the much need support is critical in some areas that are more ravaged by internal conflict and recurring drought which is considerably affecting the health service delivery.

Health Minister Lia Tadesse said that the ministry of health has been applying multiple approaches to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity by improving both access to health service and strengthening equity and quality of maternal and newborn child health services.

The ministry has been investing on accessibility and equity of maternal and newborn, and child health services by increasing the number of health facilities and upgrading health center capacity, and improving access to surgical interventions, she added.

“As a result of this investment maternal and newborn health outcome indicators have significantly improved according to our latest data, like antenatal cares but we still remain with a long way to go in terms of our indicators, especially reaching to the SDGs and we must continue to invest more,” Lia stressed.

Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ito Takako said on her part that the regions identified for the support have poor health service coverage and high maternal mortality rates.

Indeed the health sector is one of the priority sector for Japan’s development cooperation in Ethiopia, she added.

“The mobile clinic vehicles will be equipped with ultrasound, electrocardiograph and basic medical equipment and are expected to benefit around 800,000 pregnant and lactating women in the five regions,” Ambassador Takako elaborated.

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