An estimated 68% of the total populations of 73 million in Ethiopia live in malarious areas covering almost 75% of its land. The diverse eco-climatic condition in the country makes the malaria transmission pattern seasonal and unstable usually characterized by frequent focal and cyclic widespread epidemics. The disease has been consistently reported as one of the three top leading causes of morbidity and mortality over the past years. Similarly, in 2004/05 it has been reported as the first cause of morbidity and mortality accounting for 16.6% Out-patient consultations (OPD), 15.0% admissions and 29.0% deaths. Cognizant of the health problems and the need to deliver a comprehensive health care service that will contribute to improvement in the health and socio-economic conditions in the country, the Government of Ethiopia developed and endorsed a twenty-year Health Sector Development Program (HSDP) in1997. The main objective of the HSDP is to provide comprehensive, integrated and cost effective primary health care service, with focus on communicable diseases prevention and control, nutrition, environmental health and hygiene, reproductive health and immunization.
Ministry of Health; 2006