A History of Palliative Care in Ethiopia – My Care My Comfort

Categories: Care and Community Engagement.

A reflection by Selamawit Solomon – Palliative Care Lead

On 13th November, the Federal Ministry of Health and Hospice Ethiopia celebrated World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. The theme was “My Care…My Comfort”.

Palliative Care was started in Ethiopia by Sr Tsigereda Yisafowessen who set up Hospice Ethiopia. Since then, the Federal Ministry of Health has been developing services for the last five and a half years as part of its national plan.

Key stakeholders were invited to this half-day conference to celebrate the progress of palliative care so far in the country. The attendees included Clinical Service Directorate director, Hospice Ethiopia director, palliative care experts, specialty case team leader, regional higher officials, 8 to be model hospitals representatives, ministry clinical service officers, hospice Ethiopia board members and staff.


The aim was to highlight the importance of home-based care, progress in research, discuss best practice and provide details about the next 5-year Federal Ministry of Health Strategic Plan for strengthening palliative care services.

The need for palliative care is increasing and is a huge global issue. To celebrate World Hospice Palliative Care Day a 2nd edition of the Global Atlas of Palliative Care is now available to download from www.thewhpca.org

Here are some of the milestones of palliative care development in Ethiopia:

  • 2003             Hospice Ethiopia Established
  • 2007             National Pain guideline
  • 2010             NCD strategic Frame work
  • 2011             Local Production of Morphine
  • 2012             Morphine certified
  • 2013             Palliative care online course by Mayo
  • 2015             National NCD strategic action plan
  • 2015             Ethiopian Hospital service transformation guideline
  • 2015             Pain training Module
  • 2016             Palliative care guideline
  • 2016             Pain Free hospital initiatives
  • 2017             Palliative care hubs in Referral hospital
  • 2019/20      Palliative care in HSTP II, palliative care in speciality and subspecialty road map, 5-year palliative care strategic plan, palliative care manual and pain management guideline


For further information please contact: Selamawit Solomon- 091154 8090

Selamawit Solomon (MPH), Expert Public Health Professional, Speciality case Team

Pain Free hospital initiative team leader

Clinical Service Directorate (CSD),FDRE-MOH

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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