In Ethiopia, ASSET will work in three contiguous predominately rural districts (Meskan, Mareko and Sodo) of the Gurage Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. The total population is approximately 400,000, of which around half are aged 18 years or under. Sodo has a predominately Orthodox Christian community, while Meskan and Mareko are predominately Muslim. Diverse ethnicities are represented, including Gurage, Oromo, Meskan, Mareko, Silti, Sodo, and Dobi.

The three districts are served by a total of 18 primary healthcare centres, around 100 health posts, one general hospital, one primary hospital and one NGO hospital (Mercy Project).

General hospitals (for up to one million population) are staffed by specialist doctors (obstetrician-gynaecologist, surgeon, radiologist, but not consistently), and general doctors. No anaesthetist is usually present at this level. Primary hospitals (150-200,000 pop’n)  are staffed with general practitioners (non-specialised doctors), emergency surgical officers, health officers, midwives, and nurses; health centres (25-40,000 pop’n) by health officers, nurses, and midwives; and health posts (5,000 pop’n) by health extension workers.

There is roll out of a community-based health insurance (CBHI) with annual pre-payments indemnifying against costs at the point of delivery.