The State of Health Technology Assessment in the Ethiopian Health Sector- Learning from Recent Policy Initiatives


Health technology assessment (HTA) has previously been implemented only in a fragmented manner in the Ethiopian health sector decision-making cycle, and the sector has been hampered by limited institutional capacity and skilled human resources to inform evidence-based decision making. The country is in the midst of widescale implementation of a community-based health insurance scheme and is preparing for the launch of a social health insurance scheme. The country continues to face a limited financial resource envelope, undergoing an epidemiological transition, and is facing a much greater burden of noncommunicable diseases, for which the essential health benefit package, defined 12 years ago, may no longer be suitable. This has called for an in-depth review of the application of HTA in the context of the current health needs and institutional settings. To meet the increasing need for HTA, the Health Economics and Financing Analysis (HEFA) team was established within the Finance Resource Mobilization Department under the Ministry of Health. The HEFA team is tasked with spearheading the application of evidence-based health care decision making in Ethiopia by organizing available evidence, costing interventions, and defining effectiveness measures of the different health programs and then supporting policymakers at the national and regional levels. Improving and harmonizing the institutional approach to HTA, including staffing the HEFA team with the appropriate mix of expertise, and networking with relevant sector organizations will improve Ethiopia's ability to tackle the current health sector challenges as well as protect fledgling insurance schemes’ progress toward universal health coverage.


Elias Asfaw Zegeye Abduljelli Reshad Eyersualem Animut Bekele Belay Aurgessa Zenebech Gella

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