Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Health Cluster Bulletin #17, July 2020

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Situation Report
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Highlights

• As of 15 August, 28,894 confirmed cases and 509 deaths of COVID-19 have been reported in Ethiopia, from 589,694 laboratory tests conducted.

• Cholera outbreaks continue in three regions of Somali, SNNP and Oromia. West Omo zone is the latest to report cases affecting four woredas of Menit Shasha, Menit Goldiya, Surma and Gachit. By mid August more than 3,000 cases had been treated.

• The government-led national measles SIA was implemented in July with partners support and 14,410,153 children 9-59 months, 96% of the target were vaccinated countrywide. In addition, 88,216 children were vaccinated in refugee camps in 5 regions.

Situation update

Cholera outbreaks continue in three regions of Somali, SNNP and Oromia. West Omo zone is the latest to report cases affecting four woredas of Menit Shasha, Menit Goldiya, Surma and Gachit. By mid August more than 3,000 cases had been treated. These are remote woredas that are hard to reach, especially during this rainy season. The cluster assigined SWAN to support the response, in addition to WHO, UNICEF and WVI. Already, cholera kits for treatment of 900 cases were delivered to the zone, and trainings for 60 healthcare workers conducted. SWAN deployed three vehicles to support surveillance and logistics. The partners supported the zone in rapid assessment and outbreak investigation to establish the drivers, risk factors, and immediate response actions required to mitigate and control the outbreak. Advocacy, mobilization of additional resources and capacity building will continue.

As a result of the low routine measles vaccination coverage in Ethiopia that stands at 59%, 1.5 million children are added every year to the cohort of unprotected children. This contributed to the increasing number of measles outbreaks and cases in 2019 and 2020. 81% these cases were children under five. The Ministry of Health had planned for a national measles SIA in April but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As time went by stakeholders realized that it was important to strategize on how to implement the campaign in the context of COVID-19. The mitigation of risks related to the COVID-19 transmission to the service providers and the community and, therefore, interventions required at all levels of activities were main considerations during the preparation. These included IPC, physical distancing, use of face masks and hand sanitizers, hand washing, and changes in precampaign mobilization messaging. The national SIA implementation guidelines were revised to incorporate all changes required to fit this context. The government-led national measles SIA was eventually implemented in July with partners support and 14,410,153 children 9-59 months, 96% of the target were vaccinated across the country. In addition, 88,216 children were vaccinated in refugee camps in 5 regions. As of 15 August, the country has reported 28,894 confirmed cases of COVID-19 affecteing all regions and city administrations. Response continues through the national and subnational PHEOC, with support from partners in different forms.

Useful sites for information include:

Health Cluster on Humanitarian Reponse: https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/ethiopia/health
EPHI: https://www.ephi.gov.et/index.php/public-health-emergency/novel-corona-virus-update
WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
WHO: https://www.afro.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus-covid-19
JHU: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html