We work to decentralise NCD treatment and care from hospital level to rural health centre level in order to improve access to NCD diagnosis, treat and long term care.

Service Delivery

We develop the capacity of nurses and health officers in rural health centres to diagnose, treat and care for NCD patients, and of health extension workers to raise awareness and refer members of the community in the surrounding areas to these services. By doing so, we are decentralising care away from the university hospitals that are too far away for rural patients to access without great cost.

How we do it

  • Train, mentor and supervise rural nurses, health officers and health extension workers

  • Develop the capacity of doctors and nurses at the university hospitals to become trainers and to take on the responsibility of mentoring and supervising at health centre level

  • Work with local health authorities to ensure there is an appropriate supply of necessary drugs and medical equipment

  • Maintain excellent NCD patient records

  • Work with the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to ensure our work is aligned with national NCD policies

  • Promote routine data collection and evaluation of the effectiveness of what we do


The research that we undertake is crucial as it allows us to understand the context in which NCDs have become prevalent in rural Ethiopian communities, as well as how these diseases impact on their lives.


One thing we have learnt is that, unlike mainstream understandings of the causal factors of NCDs (smoking, drinking and unhealthy diets and lifestyles), within Ethiopia the main risk factor for NCDs is poverty and factors related to poverty. For example, in the rural communities a lack of alternatives leads to the widespread use of open fires, which together with poor ventilation results in indoor air pollution and increases the incidence of chronic respiratory diseases. We have ongoing research projects investigating the links between poverty and these diseases.


How we do it

  • Develop collaborative projects involving universities in Ethiopia and the UK.

  • Develop the capacity of the Ethiopian universities to lead research related to NCDs

  • Present our work at conferences and publish our work in academic journals


Katharina Brassington

Country Programmes Coordinator, THET

E: katharina.brassington@thet.org

Photo Credit: Dominic Dee and THET