NEGUSSU MEKONNEN

MSH Country Representative for Ethiopia

Negussu Mekonnen, MSH Country Representative for Ethiopia (Photo Credit: Irene Abdou)

Negussu Mekonnen, MSH Country Representative for Ethiopia (Photo Credit: Irene Abdou)

“I joined MSH in 2003. Many Ethiopians were dying of AIDS at the time, and MSH offered the opportunity to save lives. Today, we are tackling other chronic diseases and still saving lives.”

When I started with MSH, I initially thought my assignment would be short term. Instead, the prospect of strengthening health systems and improving the lives of my countrymen and women was compelling. It has been professionally satisfying to work with an organization that is focused on building health systems from within by empowering local stakeholders and the citizenry. After making real progress against the AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia, we have been working to build the capacity of public, private, and civil institutions.

When I think about our success in building up capacity in my country, one example that comes to mind is Auditable Pharmaceutical Transactions and Services, otherwise known as APTS, which restructured pharmacy services by creating transparency, accountability, efficiency, and a strong inventory management system. After APTS was introduced, all medicines became traceable. Clients were no longer being turned away due to lack of supplies. Where APTS has been implemented, everyone can see the improved service quality. That’s why regional health bureaus, as well as the Minster of Health himself, have become advocates. 

MSH also developed the pharmacy chapter of the Ethiopian Hospital Reform Implementation Guidelines. And the Ministry of Health here in Ethiopia has decided that this pilot program will be scaled up throughout the country. We are really proud that MSH is driving this initiative.

In more than 10 years in Ethiopia, MSH has been known for delivering on its promises, technical proficiency, the excellence of its staff, and for implementing programs to curb TB, malaria, and HIV and AIDS. We have really made strides promoting universal health coverage, and in leadership, management, and governance. MSH provides a one-stop shop to address the priority needs of the Ministry of Health. I see a huge role for MSH to continue to support the government of Ethiopia in these areas. 

 

Video: Medicine Movers - Ethiopia