Developing capacity for health care professionals in Ethiopia

Project description

Title: Capacity Development for Health Care Professionals and Biomedical Technicians
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia 
Lead executing agency: Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) of Ethiopia
Overall term: 2018 to 2021


Health care in Ethiopia has improved thanks to the establishment of a three-tier health system and a community-based health extension workforce. However, according to the Health Sector Transformation Plan, the availability and capacity of the country’s health services and the quality of health care need further improvement. Among others, the main challenges are as follows:

  • Around 30-40 per cent of the equipment in the country's health facilities is old and defective. Organisational and financial challenges make it difficult to obtain spare parts and consumables.
  • Engineers and technicians who have already worked in public health centres and for health facilities must deal with unrealistic expectations and lack the resources needed for their work. For instance, equipment must often be repaired without the proper tools or spare parts, and without adequate material.
  • The system for health-related technical and vocational educational training (TVET) suffers from a lack of qualified trainers with the relevant practical experience.
  • To date, there is no national strategy, nor any regulatory framework for the management of biomedical equipment. Lack of equipment standardisation and maintenance also negatively impacts the quality of the practical training for health professionals.


Vocational and practical training for people in the nursing profession and for biomedical technicians is improved.


To achieve its goals the project focuses on three main intervention areas:  

  • Developing a transferable model of practical vocational training for nursing staff and biomedical technicians.
  • Setting up a prototype regional maintenance and repair workshop for biomedical equipment at a selected hospital.
  • Supporting the development of a national policy and strategy for the better management of medical devices.

The project’s main implementation partners include the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Oromia Health Bureau, Tegbare-id TVET College in Addis Ababa, Nekemte Polytechnic College, Nekemte Health Science College and Nekemte Specialized Hospital.

In addition, the project provides COVID-19 related support to Ethiopia and Eritrea in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO).


So far, the project has:

  • provided training on the installation, maintenance and repair of medical equipment to 65 biomedical technicians.
  • assisted the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia (FMoH) in the design and implementation of a Medical Equipment Management Information System.
  • taught clinical teaching skills to more than 100 clinical preceptors and medical equipment workshop assistants.
  • trained more than 90 teachers from all partner Colleges and the Nekemte Specialised Hospital to provide them with vital teaching skills.

The project has also supported the update of the occupational standards and the national TVET curriculum for biomedical technicians in collaboration with the Ethiopian Federal TVET Institution and the Human Resources Development Department of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Last update: February 2021