Ethiopia

IOM Monthly Programmatic Update Ethiopia | September 2020

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IOM Starts COVID-19 Testing for UN Community in Ethiopia

osted: 09/22/2020 IOM Ethiopia has started facilitating COVID-19 testing, which is expected to cater to over 28 UN agencies in the country.

Marking the start of the programme in Addis Ababa, UN Resident Coordinator, Catherine Sozi, took the first COVID-19 test with her family. “We encourage people to accept that testing for COVID-19 is normal,” she says. Speaking of the experience, she also added: “This is a friendly environment that allows people to come in. There is confidentiality and UN staff and their dependents can come in if they feel like they are not feeling well or if they need to know for any other reason."

The UN Resident Coordinator also emphasized on the global nature of the virus and how communities should continue to take preventive measures. “We must make every effort to prevent it. Prevention is better than cure. We can prevent this if we all work together,” she asserted.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that United Nations staff can continue to work where they are needed, IOM and the UN system signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of health services consequential to COVID-19 by IOM.

The project, named “First Line of Defence” (FLoD), is designed to ensure that personnel deemed eligible by the UN and their dependents have access to high-quality, reliable health services in contexts where health-care systems may be overwhelmed and minimize the need for medical evacuations, considered to be the “second line of defence”.

IOM Ethiopia has been one of the key responders in the prevention of COVID-19 especially by providing support at the quarantine centres all over the country. “The provision of health services consequential to COVID-19 shows the commitment of IOM to engage collaboratively with the government of Ethiopia in its response to public health emergencies. IOM Addis Ababa Laboratory contributes to the effectiveness of the national response to COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Nelyn Chavez, IOM Ethiopia’s Chief Migration Health Officer.

Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak a pandemic on 11 March 2020, the transmission of the disease has been recorded in most countries across all six WHO regions. The COVID-19 outbreak has placed unprecedented demands on national health systems. Increasing testing capacities is believed to ease such burden.

For more information, please contact IOM Ethiopia: Alemayehu Seifeselassie, Tel: ‪+251116611117 (Ext. 1455), Mobile: ‪+251911639082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

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