Avoiding premature mortality in Ethiopia 2015-30: a review of national mortality trends and policy recommendations

Authors: Addis Woldemariam, Stéphane Verguet, Ole Norheim, Xiaoxiao Kwete

Abstract: Ethiopia has made considerable progress in improving the health of its people over the last 20 years, following the guidance of a series of governmental documents on health reform, particularly for its essential health services package launched in 2005. With the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) having reached its end target in 2015, and the move toward an even more ambitious agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Ethiopian government is aiming at increasing the scope of the health services and interventions to finance and include in the country’s essential health benefits package. One important step in this process is to identify the interventions which would reduce the country disease burden in the most cost-effective manner, and the conditions where accelerated investments in both funding and human capital are required. One of the health targets for Ethiopia would be to reduce the country’s premature mortality by 40% by 2030. This paper uses similar methods as were previously adopted by scholars, and synthesizes evidence to identify the age groups and conditions where extra efforts could be invested in to achieve the 40% mortality reduction goal in Ethiopia. The paper also suggests which interventions could be adopted in order to accelerate the reduction of Ethiopia’s disease burden.