Health background and Objectives
The Ethiopian Catholic Church (ECC) renders health service mainly to the poor, marginalized and most underprivileged ones in almost all regions of the country reaching more than five million people thought 85 health institution ranging from primary health care stations to hospitals of which one has a training institute with the goal of promoting integral human development.
The Catholic Church service in the fields of pastoral an social development are coordinated by the Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat (ECS) . ECS in its present form was established in 1965 and got its first organizational structure in 1971. The first constitution of ECS was approved in January 1973. Between 1974 and 1985, one of ECS’s priorities was gathering and distributing food and medicines in the form of emergency relief.
In 1987, the first ECS evaluation recommended the restructuring of ESC. During 1997-1998,series of evaluations were carried out , new constitution put in place, new departments created, and a new Memorandum of Association and its statute for the establishment of the Ethiopian Catholic Church Social and Development Commissions (ECC-SADCO) developed. The Episcopal Conference approved the new ECS constitution in April 1999. In January 2000,ECC-SADCO was registered with the Ministry of Justice, as an NGO under the responsibility of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. According to the revised constitution, ECS is structured with two wings; Pastoral Activities Commission (PAC) and the Social and Development Commission (SADCO). The latter is overall signatory with Federal Offices relevant to areas of ECC Social and Development activities.
In faithful imitation of Jesus Christ, the Ethiopian Catholic Church has served the sick, suffering and dying in various ways throughout history.
The first recorded health care service by the Church is the dispensary founded by Franciscan Sisters of Calais in 1897 in Harar. Today, a total of eighty five health institutions and several other health care projects give curative and preventive care to the people of Ethiopia mainly focusing rural population.
In an attempt to contribute to the development of human power to the health sector, St. Luke Catholic College of nursing was established in October 2000 in Wolisso town along with St. Luke hospital. In its 15 years existence, the college has graduated 518 clinical nurses and Midwife . in 1968, the ECC felt the need to coordinate the medical services and therefore established the health department in ECS that included HIV/AIDS and Family life unit. The department served as a representative of ECC nationally and internationally in all matters pertaining to health. Moreover, the department took mandate of presenting any requests to the ministry of health and signing all agreements between Federal Ministry of health and Catholic health institutions. It is the only authority recognized in matters relating to health at Federal level and holds responsibility for obtaining accreditation for all missionary or volunteer health professionals entering the country in the service of the Catholic Church.
Objective of ECC Health Service
Inspired by the example of Jesus Christ and guided by the Catholic social and ethical teaching, the ECC health care service’s objective is to fulfill the Church’s mission of health ministry and improve the health status of Ethiopia peoples specially the poor and the marginalized ones by delivering holistic health care.
1.2 Specific Objective
- To provide standardized integrated preventive, promotive and curative health care services in accordance with the stated national and Catholic health policies.
- To deliver quality health care in a way that is professionally sound, scientifically up-to-date and ethically in line with the Catholic social teaching.
- To ensure that the service are financially accessible for the vulnerable, marginalized and less privileged part of the population.
- To comprehend the service provided with the government’s primary intervention focuses and work in line with the national health policy whenever it is not against the Catholic social teaching.
- To train efficient human resources for health according to the curriculum set by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
- To have a strong network of all Catholic health institutions using health management information system.