Historically, the Ethiopian Government officially proclaimed the Basic Health Care Policy in 1952. The Strategy was to reach the largest population possible in the most distant areas with effective services with minimum qualified staff and address the imbalance of allocation of resources for health improvement in rural settings.  The Ethiopian population is primarily rural.  Public Health professionals carried out most of the activities in Ethiopia’s rural hospitals and health centers; they made an enormous contribution for many years, providing comprehensive services to rural communities.

There are now nearly 13,000 Public Health Professionals formerly known as health officers, actively serving in the public and private health sectors – holding a substantial proportion of the health workforce in Ethiopia.

In recent times, population health needs of the country have grown not only in breadth but also in complexity and depth due to rapid epidemiologic and demographic transitions that are happening in the country. In addition, the demand for better quality and equitable services is increasing and is becoming an imperative element of care, because low quality health services are ethically unacceptable and legally prosecutable.  The Health Sector Transformation Plan has set ambitious goals to improve quality and equity and also to enhance the implementation capacity of health workers at all levels of the health system. It is increasingly realized that good quality health care is an intrinsic value and attribute of every health system and needs to be provided to everybody who uses the health facilities. However, this cannot be realized without properly trained and equipped health workforce. Cognizant of this, Ethiopia has considered quality of health services and is developing a caring, respectful and compassionate health workforce in the transformation agenda to achieve the HSTP targets. In addition, Ethiopia aims to have a mix of skilled and capable health workforce that manages all health conditions and achieve the WHO targets for human resources for health.   Nevertheless, without adequately trained and motivated health workforce, providing quality service is unachievable.  African health systems struggle with scarce human resource caused by internal migration of health professionals from rural to urban areas and public to more lucrative private practices, and external migrations to countries with better pay and working conditions.

Ethiopia’s effort to scale up health worker training enabled it to achieve 16-fold increase in new graduates from 2000-2013. However, this was not accompanied by proportional increase in capacity and readiness to ensure quality of education. Despite this scale up, the health workers density (physicians, Public Health Professionals, Nurses and Midwives) for Ethiopia is still far below the current sub-Saharan average 2.3/1000 people and 4.45/1000 people the sustainable development goal (SDG) target. To reach the SDG targets, Ethiopia need to produce many more physicians, Public Health Professionals, nurses and midwives keeping acceptable quality. Improving Public Health education, deployment, professional development and career path is therefore crucial.

In 1996 E.C, there were 50 public health professionals in Ethiopia; in 2000 there were nearly 500. Although the undertaking is one way of tackling the shortage of doctors in the country, to our knowledge, health centre facilities have not yet been upgraded to do emergency surgery, and the training may need to be tailored to enable public health professionals to have adequate hands-on experience with emergency surgery. Short of this, the public health professionals do a lot of work on the preventive, health administrative and curative aspects of health care delivery in the rural community, and this undertaking is an appropriate substitute for those in need. In the absence of specific program evaluation data, generally, they are competent enough consistent with the level of training and to the kind of public health service they are expected to provide to the community. This could be a commendable solution where doctors are scarce in similar developing countries


Currently, increasing health literacy of the population, high attention being levied on the ethical aspect of care, high global and local targets on reducing morbidity and mortality and epidemiologic transitions with increasing non-communicable and chronic diseases that demand lifelong care that necessitates high quality health care providers. Retention of health workers in remote rural areas is a major problem that should be tackled through long term HRH package of needed interventions.

Ethiopia as a developing country, has been suffering from a wide range of health problems for many years. The cumulative effects of the country’s features such as poverty,   high proportion of maternal and child mortality ,  high prevalence of communicable diseases and accidents, increased awareness about civic democratic rights and concern of equity by societies and  communities together with rapidly increasing population size results in an increased demand for health care. In response to the public’s high demand for health care, the government of Ethiopia planned to improve the quality of health care throughout the country in its Health Sector Development Program-III (HSDP-III) as part and parcel of the SDGs with emphasis on addressing PHC services.

Therefore, training of Public health professionals is found more feasible and cost effective in solving   ranges of the most pressing and basic clinical and public health problems of the population in Ethiopia.  The trained Public Health professionals would be utilized effectively and efficiently if there is strict monitoring and close follow up of the teaching and learning process as well as conducive educational environment and better handling of the graduated citizens.


3.1         General Objective

  • To produce competent Public Health professionals who undertake promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services including management and implementation of PHC services compatible to the needs of the population

3.2         Specific Objectives

  • Assessing community health needs and prioritize identified problems
  • Intervening on the identified health and health related problems of the community
  • Promoting health, preventing and controlling disease
  • Providing curative and rehabilitative health services
  • Managing health services and health offices
  • Undertaking operational and problem solving researches
  • Having professional attitudes, ethical conducts and social responsibilities;
  • Undertaking Caring, Compassionate and Respectful service with ICT and entrepreneurial skill.


4.1         Human resources

4.1.1       Training, Teaching and Learning Materials

4.1.2       Learning Facilities / Infrastructure

4.1.3       Portable and stationary plants, machines and equipment


A graduate Public Health Professional will be expected to play the following roles:


A graduate Public Health Professional, given the knowledge, attitude and skills acquired from the program is expected to fulfill the following minimum requirements:

  • Assess community health needs, prioritize, identified problems and Intervene on the identified health and health related problems
  • Plan, implement and evaluate public health interventions programs at Health Care settings.
  • Collect, document, process, analyze, and disseminate health information
  • Participating in health promotion, prevention and control of diseases
  • Provide curative and rehabilitative services
  • Provide early diagnosis,basic treatment and referral of difficult cases
  • Provide comprehensive outpatient and inpatient services.
  • Perform minor surgical and obstetric procedures
  • Perform medical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Mobilize individuals, families and communities  for  different public health activities
  • Undertake operational health researches and involve in data management process
  • Organize and participate to prevent and control disaster and emergency situations
  • Promote and engage in inter-sectoral activities


  • Competence based
  • Community based


  • Student-centered
  • Team approach
  • Practice based


9.1         Selection and Admission Criteria

Candidates must:

  • Meet the set criteria of the higher education to join the higher learning institutions
  • Be physically fit (at least the candidate should be physically healthy capable of undertaking the four techniques of diagnosis of disease in clinical medicine i.e inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation)
  • Female candidates will be encouraged 

9.2         Total credit hours, ECTS and Duration of the Program

  • Total credit hours: 181
  • Total ECTS: 300
  • Duration of the training: Four years
  • First year: 2 semesters / year
  • Second, Third and fourth year: Year-based (Year based Academic calendar)  

9.3         Graduation Requirement

  • Successful completion of 181 credit hours/300 ECTS/ with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 is mandatory for graduation
  • No “F” grade will be accepted in any course for graduation. 
  • Student should score “C” grade and above in all core courses/modules.
  • The student shall score a pass mark (³50%) on the final comprehensive qualifying exam. Failure to pass will result in delay for three months and take re-exam. The students shall fill the identified gaps. In case the students fail for the second time s/he should delay for next three months and take the second re-exam. If s/he fail the second re-exam gaps be identified by the institution and academic decisions should be given.

9.4         Criteria for Promotion and explanation

  • Promotion will be conducted every semester for year one and yearly for year two, three and four.
  • Pass mark in all core courses will be at least a “C” grade.
  • Any student who scores “F” in any course will repeat the course.
  • Students will be promoted to the next level provided that they score minimum of “C” grade in all core courses and practical attachments (clinical courses and community attachments/practices). A student who scores “C-“, or “D” or “FX” grade should not be promoted to the next level. Re-examination on failed parts is allowed within 2weeks time if he/she scored only one “C-“, or “D” or “FX” in core clinical courses or community practices/attachments. However, if s/he scores two “C-“, or D or ‘FX’s s/he shall continue the internship but re-attachment is a must. Failure after one single chance of re-examination also leads to repeat that course. 
  • If a students’ scores more than two “C- “, or D or ‘FX’s or a “D” and an “F” in core courses s/he shall repeat the year.
  • Except for core courses, any student who scored “Fx” shall take remedial exam on subjects failed irrespective of the CGPA achieved. Remedial exam shall be allowed only once. Any student who fails the remedial exam will repeat the subject/s failed. If the student declares failure for the second time decision will be made by the academic commission.
  • If there exist, student should only be registered requisite course/s if s/he scored a minimum of “C” grade in the pre-requisite core course/s
  • Students will be promoted to the next level (SGPA, CGPA) based on Universities Senate legislation

9.5         Grading System

[85, 90)4.0A
[80, 85)3.75A
[75, 80)3.5B+
[60, 65)2.5C+
[50, 60)2.0C
[45, 50)1.75C
[40, 45)1.0D
[30, 40)0Fx

9.6         Quality Assurance

The quality and standard of the program will be assured through:

9.7         Degree Nomenclature

  • Up on successful completion of the program 

In English: “Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health”

In Amharic: “የሳይንስባችለርዲግሪበሕብረተሰብጤናwill be awarded.

9.8         Mode Of Delivery

  • Lecture/discussion
  • Seminars/Tutorials
  • Bedsides/teaching rounds
  • Case study
  • Demonstration
  • Community practice
  • Role play
  • Morning session
  • Field visit
  • Independent Study 

9.9         Mode Of Assessment Methods

General assessment methods

  • Formative and Summative assessment
  • Theory(Written exam: – quiz, tests, written exam, oral tests, Final qualifying internal examination
  • Clinical practice(Progressive assessment of rounds, bedsides, case-reports, Role plays and demonstrations, Seminars and tutorials, Checklists of procedures, oral presentation, Written, oral and practical examinations, supervisors checklist, login logout)
  • Community practice (Student attitude, student presentation, supervisors checklist, log-book, report writing, written/oral exam)


10.1     Module name

 The naming of modules, directly or indirectly relate to the content of the modules and the identified competencies to be achieved by the respective modules.

10.2     Module code

For the coding of modules the following is agreed: The module code should show

  • Home base (to which program/department does the module belong?)
  • Level of students (years)
  •  Module Number
  • Module Category (1-General, 2- supportive, 3-Core,)

Example: Module PubH-M3091 (3- level/year, 09 module number, 1- category of the module which is general. No space is needed between PubHM and 3091. For the coding of courses in a module (clustered courses): The course code should show

  • Home base
  • Level of students (years)
  • Module Number
  • Order of the course in the module

PubH3091(3- level/year, 09 module number, 1- order of the course in the module). No space is needed between PubH and 3091.