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Progress of Ministry of Health in Past Years of Independence

Asmara, 13 May 2024 – At the Third National Health Policy Review, the Ministry of Health reported that it has developed the Third Health Service Sector Development Program 2022-2026. This program incorporates essential healthcare packages, which are vital tools for attaining universal access to quality healthcare and increasing the equitable distribution of healthcare services.

According to the report presented, Eritrea has made substantial investments in its Public Health System in conjunction with other developmental programs, resulting in continuous improvements that have narrowed the health protection gaps.

Eritrea has come a long way in improving maternal and newborn health. The under-five mortality rate has steadily declined from 153 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 37 in 2022, registering a remarkable 76% reduction.

Eritrea’s significant advances in routine childhood vaccination have garnered recognition and multiple awards from various regional and global organizations over the past two decades. Universal immunization has been sustained in Eritrea at around 98% since 2013.

The Ministry of Health has been constructing maternity waiting rooms in health facilities for pregnant women who live far from health facilities. Consequently, deliveries at health facilities reached 83.7% in 2023, up from only 6% in 1991.

Regarding health facilities, the report indicated a marked expansion of healthcare services. The national health infrastructure has increased 3.7-fold from 93 in 1991 to 347 in 2023. Accordingly, 70% of the population has become beneficiaries of health services within a 5 km radius from place of their residence with nominal payments.

Malaria incidence in Eritrea has dropped significantly, and malaria-related deaths have plummeted to only 5 in 2023, a significant achievement compared to 405 malaria-related deaths in 1998. Praiseworthy progress has also been registered in controlling the prevalence of TB and HIV/AIDS.

As a result of heavy investment in the past years of independence, disease remedy and prevention have increased manifold, disease incidence has decreased significantly, and the average life expectancy of the people stood at 68 in 2023, almost 20 years higher than in 1991.

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