Ethiopia

Combating COVID-19 with Cordaid in Ethiopia

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Cordaid Ethiopia Country Office handed over support worth ETB 67,000,000 (1.52 million €) to the COVID-19 response in Ethiopia. 84% of this support has been (re)allocated from ongoing health programs and aid interventions funded by the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ethiopia and the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA). The balance support is being provided through support from the European Union and Cordaid’s own funds.

On Friday October 17th, the official handover ceremony event highlighting this support took place at the Skylight hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event was hosted and officiated by Roselyn Akinyi Walender, the Cordaid Country Director in Ethiopia. The event was attended by the Dutch Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, IGAD, UNECA Mr. Henk Jan Bakker; the State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health his Excellency Dr. Dereje Duguma; 1st Secretary of the Dutch Embassy Ethiopia Dr. Marco Gerritsen; Regional Health Bureau representatives from the Amhara, Oromia and Somali Regions; Head of Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Mr. Fitsum Abadi; as well as members of the media and other key stakeholders.

Handing over prevention items and pharmaceuticals

During the event, COVID-19 prevention and preparedness items including gloves, facemasks, goggles, and various sanitization materials were handed over. The handover also included essential pharmaceuticals such as pain medications and antibiotics.

“It is through solidarity in times of crisis that the true meaning of humanity is felt. COVID-19 will be combated as we continue to support all preventive measures in the communities that we are a part of, everywhere we are at this time,” said Cordaid Country Director in Ethiopia Roselyn Akinyi Walender.

Identifying and addressing gaps

Cordaid collaborated with Ethiopian regional government counterparts to identify COVID related gaps in their regions and ensured that the support addresses those gaps. The support, which will be provided in batches, includes both internationally and locally procured items that meet COVID-19 standards set by the Ethiopian Standards Agency (ESA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

During his speech, Ethiopia’s State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Dereje Duguma, expressed his sincere appreciation to Cordaid and the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands in Ethiopia for their support providing the much needed essential PPEs and antibiotics. These would go a long way in ensuring the safety of health workers and communities. He also recognised the Dutch Embassy and Cordaid for working in solidarity with the Government of Ethiopia and the respective Regional government working together to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also noteworthy from the event was Dr. Mengistu Bekele, Head of the Oromia Regional Health Bureau, extended a request to the Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia to consider the expansion of the Performance-Based Financing (PBF) Health program to all health facilities in Oromia and other regions of Ethiopia. The Oromia Health Bureau recognises CORDAID for its implementation of the PBF Health program which has greatly contributed towards improving the accessibility and quality of basic health care in Jimma and Borana Zones.

Keeping frontline COVID-19 responders safe

Cordaid’s COVID-19 response in Ethiopia is incumbent upon the fact that health workers are the frontline soldiers in the fight against COVID-19. We believe that we can’t stop COVID-19 without ensuring that health workers are provided with protective equipment that keeps them safe so that they can attend to the needs of the communities. As such, since the onset of the pandemic, the response has been primarily focused on improving the response preparedness and capacity of health facilities and COVID isolation centers by providing basic personal protective equipment, sanitation materials, and pharmaceuticals required in the management COVID-19 as well as increasing COVID-19 related service delivery in health facilities.

At community level, our programming aims to increase knowledge and awareness regarding COVID-19 through the distribution of Information-Education-Communication (IECs) materials in Cordaid operational regions and distributing handwashing soaps, sanitizers, face masks, and surface disinfectants to community members and schools.

The vast majority of Cordaid’s COVID-19 response in Ethiopia is being provided to the regions of Oromia, Somali, and Amhara, where Cordaid has presence through ongoing projects. Support is also being allocated to Addis Ababa City Administration.

Cordaid is committed to continuing to work with the Ethiopian Government and our local counterparts in our efforts to fight COVID-19.