Driving excellence: A hospital network for quality of care in Ethiopia

Menderin Girma, 25, Helath Extension worker at Wogiti Dera Health Post in Aleltu Woreda, 50 km North East of Addis Ababa, in Oromia region of Ethiopia, in Januaru 2013. © UNICEF/Ose


In Ethiopia, the Federal Ministry of Health created in 2012  a network of hospitals which is specifically set up to improve quality of care. The network, called EHIAQ – Ethiopian Health Institutions Alliance for Quality - brings together all the hospitals in the country. It has a lot of lessons on what works and what does not work to drive quality of care.

EHIAQ is now on its 3rd round, each on a specific theme: the 1st round in 2012 with the theme ‘patient satisfaction ‘was all about finding which are the best performing hospitals in the country, based on mortality data and patient satisfaction.

The idea was that the best hospitals will lead by example, share their lessons, and best practices with these other hospitals in their group and  helps improve quality of care across the group. Ten lead hospitals made the cut.

The second round in 2014-2016 focused on maternal, newborn and child health. Fifteen hospitals met the criteria for best performers. The third round started in 2017, on the theme ‘save life through safe surgery’ and this time 31 hospitals came out as leaders of the pack.

For each round, the best performing hospitals received a cash award from the Federal Ministry of Health based not on performance but on quality improvement.

Listen to Seman Jakob, who is the CEO of St Peter’s Hospital in Addis Ababa, and has been active in EHIAQ since its beginning.