CDC in Ethiopia

feature image Ethiopia

Demonstration of hand washing during outbreak investigation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo: TEPHINET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an office in Ethiopia in 2001. CDC works closely with Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health and other partners to address HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases. CDC also supports development of workforce capacity and health systems strengthening. CDC provides technical expertise to meet national immunization goals and international resolutions to eradicate polio, eliminate measles, and strengthen the national immunization program in Ethiopia.

Download Ethiopia Factsheet [PDF – 522 KB]

CDC Impact in Ethiopia

Global Health Security

A critical lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is how disease threats spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before. CDC’s global health security efforts in Ethiopia help the country improve its ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become epidemics that could affect global populations. These efforts help Ethiopia reach the targets outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a global partnership launched in 2014 to help make the world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats.

During the COVID-19 pandemic CDC works with the Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI) and other public health partners to ensure the people of Ethiopia have access to diagnostic services and prevent further spread. As part of this effort, CDC experts work on the frontlines with EPHI as part of the national emergency COVID-19 Response team. CDC provides support to improve and expand laboratory testing, epidemiology and surveillance, infection prevention and control and planning.


Establishing a surveillance system for antimicrobial resistance (AMR)


Expanding the number of field epidemiologists and surveillance officers


Developing Ethiopia’s first biosafety and biosecurity monitoring and evaluation program to ensure safety in laboratories


Supporting the national public health emergency operations center to effectively respond to outbreaks


CDC works with Ethiopia to deliver quality and high-impact HIV interventions to accelerate progress towards the Joint United National Program on HIVC and AIDS (UNAIDS) goal of epidemic control by 2030.

CDC partners with Ethiopia on comprehensive HIV treatment and prevention, TB/HIV co-infection, and laboratory systems. CDC supports Ethiopia’s efforts to reach HIV epidemic control by improving active case-finding, linkage to treatment, viral load testing, and adherence and retention of existing clients on antiretroviral therapy. CDC also supports EPHI to strengthen disease detection, surveillance, and response functions and to implement an integrated strategic plan for the nation’s laboratories.

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. CDC’s TB/HIV supported programs began in 2006 and now include almost 1,000 health facilities. CDC Ethiopia supported the national program to increase TB preventive therapy in people living with HIV by 250% in one year.


Over 472,000 men, women, and children were receiving antiretroviral treatment (ART) as of September 2020


Over 12,600 HIV-positive pregnant women were identified, and 100% were receiving ART to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in 2020


Over 26,700 people received HIV positive test results in 2020


Vaccines prevent an estimated 2.5 million deaths among children under five every year. Yet one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. CDC’s Center for Global Health and Global Immunization Division work with the government of Ethiopia to meet national immunization goals and international resolutions to eradicate polio, eliminate measles, and strengthen the national routine immunization program in Ethiopia. CDC provides technical assistance on the introduction of new vaccines to the routine immunization schedule and operational research on access, utilization, and barriers to vaccine delivery. CDC assists with the investigation of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases and provides operational support for polio surveillance and supplementary immunization activities. During 2020 CDC supported the Ethiopia polio response. CDC provided technical assistance in surveillance, supported national and regional Public Health Emergency Operation Centers (PHEOCs), as well as a vaccination campaign, and monitoring and evaluation.

Field Epidemiology Training Program

FETP strengthens the capacity of public health epidemiologists to detect, respond, and control disease outbreaks at the source. CDC helped establish the Ethiopia Field Epidemiology Training Program (EFETP) in 2009. The program trains field epidemiologists —or disease detectives—to identify and contain outbreaks before they become epidemics. Participants learn to gather critical data and turn it into evidence-based action. The EFETP’s two levels of training, advanced and frontline, helps Ethiopia build critical global public health capabilities to efficiently and effectively respond to ongoing and emerging global health pandemics like COVID-19. EFETP graduates play a key role in preparedness and response efforts by leading the national PHEOC as members of the incident management structure for COVID-19. Fellows have also responded to over a hundred recent outbreaks, including: anthrax, malaria, cholera, yellow fever, pertussis, guinea worm, vaccine derived polio virus, and measles.


Since 2011, the FETP Ethiopia program has had over 650 frontline and over 400 advanced graduates as of August 4th, 2020


In Ethiopia, 517 advanced residents and 585 frontline surveillance officers have graduated as of October 2020


Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease in many countries. Young children and pregnant women are the groups most affected. Under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, a CDC resident advisor has been assigned to Ethiopia to support the implementation of malaria prevention and control interventions.

CDC’s technical support activities include investigation of malaria vector insecticide resistance, investigation of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets durability, and continued support of Ethiopian health staff enrolled in FETPs. The U.S. government’s support has positioned Ethiopia for malaria elimination in more than 230 districts nationally.


Over 40 million long lasting insecticide treated bed nets have been procured and distributed to protect communities from the intolerable burden of malaria

CDC Staff in Ethiopia
  • 16 U.S. Assignees
  • 73 Locally Employed
Ethiopia at a Glance
  • Population: 112,000,000
  • Per capita income: $2,140
  • Life expectancy: F 69/M 65 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 39/1,000 live births

World Bank 2019, Population Reference Bureau

Ethiopia Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Heart disease
  2. Neoplasms (cancers)
  3. Maternal & Neonatal
  4. Other non-communicable diseases
  5. Respiratory infections & TB
  6. Musculoskeletal disorders
  7. Mental disorders
  8. Diabetes & kidney diseases
  9. Unintentional injury
  10. Chronic respiratory

Source: GBD Compare 2019, Ethiopia

Page last reviewed: February 11, 2021
Content source: Global Health