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How to improve child health service utilisation in Ethiopia

Future Health Systems

Ethiopia successfully achieved Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing under five mortality by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Adoption of the health extension programme, and implementation of the integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses (IMNCI) and the integrated community case management (iCCM) models of care, contributed to this achievement. However, child mortality remains high at 67 per 1,000 live births.

This Issue brief provides the following priority actions:

  • Improve the quality of child healthcare delivery: ensure child health and ambulance services are available 24/7, expand respectful and compassionate care, and provide essential medicines and equipment.
  • Raise community awareness of the importance of timely recognition of danger signs to avoid delays in healthcare seeking for common childhood illnesses.
  • Enable access to health information to improve health literacy about the benefits of child health services, and the dangers of use of traditional medicine in children.
  • Improve women’s autonomy for decision making through gender equality and socioeconomic empowerment.