Country details


Nomadic people, refugees, people in conflict-affected areas and those located in the remotest parts of Ethiopia lack access to health services.

Maternal and child health

Médecins Sans Frontières runs a programme focused on maternal and child health in Sidama. People are seen at health centres, and through outreach activities in 15 locations. In 2013, the team provided 10,460 ante- and postnatal consultations, assisted 800 deliveries and vaccinated 19,260 children. The inpatient department saw 3,000 patients.

In Abdurafi,  Médecins Sans Frontières provides treatment for people with kala azar and HIV/AIDS, and for those co-infected with tuberculosis (TB). The Abdurafi programme also offers nutritional support for patients and treatment for malnourished children under five.

Filling healthcare gaps in the Somali region

In the Somali region, teams carried out 3,460 antenatal consultations and enrolled 960 children in nutrition programmes. Mental health activities were attended by 890 people, and 430 patients began TB treatment. A fully equipped 35-bed ward was built to provide better care for children requiring hospitalisation.

In the Wardher area, Médecins Sans Frontières supported Wardher hospital. Additionally, regular mobile clinics provided antenatal care, therapeutic feeding and immunisations. A free ambulance served another 12 villages. Teams treated 1,467 children for malnutrition, provided 2,242 women with antenatal care and assisted 325 deliveries.

Critical refugee assistance
Teams continued to provide specialist healthcare for Somali refugees and the host population. Teams vaccinated 12,180 children against measles and carried out several rounds of polio vaccination.

In the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz, a team provided aid to South Sudanese refugees. Teams undertook 23,170 consultations and admitted 21,025 children to supplementary feeding programmes across three refugee camps.

In July, following an outbreak of violence in South Sudan, Médecins Sans Frontières started providing assistance to an estimated 3,000 refugees and 3,000 people in the host community of Raad, Gambella region. By the end of the year, teams had carried out 5,500 consultations, and vaccinated 1,280 children against measles and 1,980 against meningitis.

Responding to drought and deportation
The worst drought recorded in recent years in Afar region had a severe impact on people’s health and nutrition. In April, Médecins Sans Frontières staff set up a supplementary feeding programme and an inpatient unit, and carried out mobile treatment activities. More than 1,880 children received medical care.

In November, the government of Saudi Arabia began deporting ‘illegal’ foreign workers to Ethiopia. Médecins Sans Frontières provided psychosocial support to 15,673 people.

Médecins Sans Frontières first worked in the country in:

No. staff: 1,226

This text is an excerpt from the 2013 International Activity Report, published annually looking at our work in the previous year. The full report is available here.

Unobstructed motherhood: women delivering safely in Sidama, Ethiopia


Oval-shaped huts scattered amid lush trees and expansive green meadows are typical of villages in the Sidama zone, where Médecins Sans Frontières runs a maternal health project in the Chire and Mejo divisions.

Category: Field news

Ethiopia: Tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees receive cholera vaccine


A vaccine against cholera is being used on a large scale for the first time in Ethiopia by teams from Médecins Sans Frontières. The mass immunisation campaign will protect South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, as...

Category: Press releases

Ethiopia: Stopping Cholera in its Tracks


Over 140,000 people have arrived in the Gambella region of Ethiopia as they fled from the war in South Sudan.The rainy season and poor hygiene conditions contribute to the spread of infectious diseases in camps.

Category: Video gallery

Critical conditions for South Sudanese refugees in Gambella


South Sudanese refugees continue to arrive in Gambella, Ethiopia, fleeing their homes because of the violence, and walking for days seeking safe shelter and food. But the conditions in the Gambella camps are far from ideal, with...

Category: Field news

South Sudanese Refugees in Ethiopia: An emergency situation requiring a special response


Médecins Sans Frontières has been providing medical aid to South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia since January. Antoine Foucher, Médecins Sans Frontières’ head of mission in Ethiopia, describes the urgency of the refugees’...

Category: Field news
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