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Ethiopia, the second most populated country in Africa following Nigeria, with a population exceeding 80 million since 2008, is one of the poorest and the least developed countries in the world. Only 17% of the population is residing in urban areas (in the rest of the African countries the percentage is around 37%) and

general247% of the population is living under the poverty line.

According to data from the African Observatory of 2010, life expectancy raised from 48 years in 1990 to 58 years in 2008, slightly above the 53 year African average. 46.1% of the population is between 0-14 years of age, with a median age of 16.9 years. In the distribution of burden of diseases, the communicable diseases represent the 73%, the non-communicable ones the 20% and the injuries the 6%.

One of the main reasons for the low level of health services is the lack of infrastructure and the extremely low number of specialized personnel.


The nursing/midwifery and physician density is 2 and 0.4/10.000 population, substantially lower of the African average of 2 and 11 respectively.
The charitable, not for profit organization Mission ANTHROPOS organized for a third consecutive year a medical and humanitarian mission in Ayder Referral Hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia, between March 2-11, 2012.

Ayder Referral Hospital, the second biggest University Hospital in Ethiopia, in the last 3 years that we are visiting the area has developed in its full capacity, with 480 operational beds, however it is still under-equipped and understaffed with its medical personnel being limited to 35 doctors.