Breakthrough ACTION COVID-19 Ethiopia
Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) had prioritized Ethiopia, among 13 African countries, as the most vulnerable countries for importation of COVID-19. A recent Lancet publication reiterated this by describing Ethiopia as a highly vulnerable country with substantially larger population potential exposed yet with moderate capacity to contain the spread of the infection.
Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) is an essential component of health emergency readiness and response activities. The Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI) has been proactively working on emergency readiness and response activities on COVID-19 since late January 2020. The Emergency Operation Center (EOC), housed in EPHI and usually activated during public health emergencies in the country, started its work by establishing a technical working group (TWG) on RCCE comprised of different stakeholders and health development partners.
Breakthrough ACTION Ethiopia is working closely with EPHI on COVID-19. To date, efforts have included technical assistance, training, tool development, and risk communication materials design, and logistical support to EPHI. The scope also includes focused support to the RCCE TWG, coordination on preparedness and response activities among several implementing partners, and training for Ethiopian Airlines flight and ground crew, as well as urban health extension workers and religious leaders.
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