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Ethiopia is a country of high poverty rates and low socio-economic development. It has the 8th highest fertility rate globally, low life expectancy, and abysmal maternal and child health statistics. The high burden of ill health is due largely to preventable communicable diseases such as malaria, cholera, tuberculosis and HIV.

Ethiopia’s health system is among the least developed in sub-Saharan Africa and is not able to cope effectively with such massive health problems. There are 15,544 nurses working in the government system — about one nurse for 4,572 people. Nurses are very poorly paid and their working conditions are demoralizing and often unsafe as they strive to provide services with few supplies and little equipment.

Ethiopian Nurses Association (ENA)

CNA has worked with ENA since 1997, providing core support for institutional capacity-building and other activities. Since 2008, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta has provided technical assistance for nursing regulation, advocacy and continuing education. ENA’s activities have in recent years focused on building its organizational structure, governance and membership, advocating for professional regulation and improving nursing pre- and in-service education. With this support, ENA has achieved a number of key results:

  • increased membership from 400 in 2002 to over 3,500 in 2006;
  • produced and widely distributed an annual newsletter and a journal entitled The Voice of Nurses, covering topics in research and nursing practice;
  • drafted a nursing act for consideration by the national government;
  • developed a policy manual on HIV/AIDS prevention strategies for nurses; and
  • through written project proposals for various donors, obtained a research grant from the Canadian Society for International Health for research into needle-stick injuries and occupational safety for nurses.

Contact information:

Ethiopian Nurses Association (ENA)
Debrezeit Road Kirkose Sub City,
Yehulawork Building, Kebelle 33 House no. 122
P.O. Box 467
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia