Ethiopia Summary Report: Prioritization of woredas for the drought related emergency health response (2/22/2016)

from World Health Organization, Health Cluster
Published on 22 Feb 2016


The failed belg rain compounded by the El Niño weather conditions that weakened summer rain has caused a drought situation in Ethiopia resulting in crop failure, loss of livestock and hence food insecurity. As a result of the acute food insecurity in many parts of the country, the incidence of malnutrition has increased. According to the Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) the estimated number of beneficiaries requiring humanitarian assistance in January 2016 was 10.2 million. The same document projected more than 400,000 children to be acutely malnourished and another 1.7 million children are estimated to suffer from moderate acute malnutrition. This malnutrition state will increase susceptibility to illness leading to increased morbidity and mortality. The drought situation has further compromised the already precarious WASH practices, contributing to the increased incidence of water washed and water borne diseases. In the last few months alone many woredas in Amhara, Tigray and Oromia regions have reported a dramatic increase in the number of cases of scabies.

The drought and flooding in some areas is expected to exacerbate disease outbreaks in different parts of the country and heightened risks of climate sensitive disease outbreaks, such as malaria, dengue fever, cholera and meningitis. Two woredas of Oromia and Somali regions bordering Kenya are affected by AWD outbreak currently. Meningococcal Meningitis outbreak was detected and responded to in a refugee camp located in Gambella. In Dire Dawa, there is an on ongoing outbreak of Dengue fever, a relatively new disease to Ethiopia. Sporadic outbreaks of measles were confirmed in many parts of the country, necessitating measles campaign particularly in hot spot woredas. In addition to these public health emergencies, the health delivery system is stretched by added burden of internal displacement and refugees. The Joint Government – Humanitarian Partners National Flood Contingency Plan for the 2015 bega Season projected around 315,930 will be affected or displaced as a result of floods. According to IOM figures as of October 2015 a total of 422,750 people are displaced as a result of internal disputes, drought and flood. The number of refugees hosted in Ethiopia is close to 590,000.

Based on the findings of a multi-sectoral assessment, 186 woredas were classified as priority one hot spot woreda and another 155 and 89 woredas priority two and three respectively. Considering the large number of woredas categorized as priority hot spots and the limited resource available, there is a need to prioritize woredas from the perspective of risks to public health emergencies. The prioritization will provide actors engaged in the emergency health response with preliminary information on where to focus for further assessment and immediate response.