"High growth rates Expected for the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Market, but it's not all smooth sailing - Unpacking the Challenges"

Published: 4 Oct 2012

By Shalena Naidoo, Healthcare Research Analyst, Frost and Sullivan

Ethiopia is classified as one of the world's poorest nations and is ranked a low 174 out of 187 countries, according to the 2011 Human Development Index rating. Poor nutritional status, along with poverty and low education levels collectively serve as contributing factors to the health burdens of the country. Limitations in providing efficient healthcare to the rural areas exist due to unskilled and few healthcare workers, coupled with infrastructure problems and high demand for medical care writes Healthcare Research Analyst, Shalena Naidoo, at growth partnership company, Frost & Sullivan.

Despite these highlighted challenges, Ethiopia has rapidly stepped into the public spotlight. Due to its rapid economic progress amongst non-oil producing African countries, averaging a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth value of around 7% between 2004 and 2011, the country has attracted a host of opportunists all awaiting the possibility of reaping the rewards of an emerging economy.

Economic growth has fuelled the expansion of social and healthcare infrastructure and aided improved access to healthcare in rural areas. The Ethiopian government has initiated many strategies to address the major gaps within the healthcare system. One strategic approach the government has opted to prioritise is the strengthening of primary care facilities. Considering that more than 80% of health issues are related to preventable infectious and nutritional related diseases, initiatives have been focused primarily on preventative approaches.

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