May 24, 2013 (Addis Ababa) – Today, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby and the Mayor of Addis Ababa City H.E. Kuma Demeksa inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art outpatient annex at the Empress Zewditu Memorial Hospital. Distinguished guests included Ethiopian State Minister of Health Dr. Kebede Worku and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Booth.
As the largest HIV clinic in the country, Zewditu offers comprehensive HIV and integrated mother and child health outpatient services and currently treats more than 6,500 HIV positive patients. The new facility – which for many years operated from shipping containers – now provides a comfortable environment for patients and can accommodate more people in need of HIV services. Zewditu is also the first site in Ethiopia to offer HIV care and treatment services to blind and deaf patients. In addition, the building is fully accessible to people with physical disabilities.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Ambassador Eric Goosby said, “At least 350 clients will be seen daily in this new facility, some of whom have not been able to receive the services they need and deserve elsewhere. I particularly applaud Zewditu for its tremendous effort to build the first site in Ethiopia that offers counseling and testing services for the deaf and blind.”
The upgraded outpatient department (OPD) features ample space for patients including rooms for clinical, maternity, nursery, labor and delivery services. Also onsite are ultrasound facilities, family planning services, adult and pediatric antiretroviral treatment (ART), and a tuberculosis (TB) examination room with a separate waiting area for TB patients. In addition, the OPD will be used for physician and health worker training programs in Addis Ababa.
With funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working in partnership with the Addis Ababa Health Bureau, the United States has provided USD 3.1 million for the construction of this new facility.
Zewditu Hospital is one of PEPFAR Ethiopia’s largest and most comprehensive HIV care and treatment sites. It was selected as the first pilot location for HIV programs and grew into a model program. In July 2003, Ethiopia’s first ART program started at Zewditu with support of CDC-Ethiopia, and served HIV positive patients from around the country for a nominal fee. Through PEPFAR’s support, the hospital began a free ART program in March 2005.
Amharic version in PDF.
Source: Embassy of the United States- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.