The World Health Organization and Canada signed an agreement to ensure functional health services in the context of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Through this agreement, Canada will provide WHO with a grant in the amount of C $ 9.9 million to strengthen primary health care capacity to provide essential health services, particularly for women, girls and vulnerable populations, while An effective response to COVID-19 is maintained to prevent further preventable illness and death among the Ethiopian population.
The WHO Representative in Ethiopia, Dr. Boureima Hama Sambo, thanked Canada for the funds available to support the continuity of essential health services. She said: “The grant will not only strengthen the provision of quality and gender-sensitive essential health services at the primary care level, but will also boost the resilience of the health system by building the capacity of regional and municipal health authorities to cope with current and future crises. “
This grant will benefit approximately 6.5 million Ethiopians in need, of whom 50% are expected to be women. The remaining population of Ethiopia is indirect beneficiaries, benefiting from efforts to strengthen both federal and regional health systems, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services.
“Canada’s support will provide front-line healthcare workers with the training, medications and equipment, including personal protective equipment, they need to prevent, detect and respond to COVID-19,” said Stephen Weaver, Minister Acting Counselor and Senior Director (Development) of the Canadian Embassy in Ethiopia. “This funding also ensures the continuation of essential health services for vulnerable populations in Ethiopia amid this pandemic, including sexual and reproductive health and rights services. These services, in line with Ethiopia’s strategies and Canada’s International Feminist Assistance Policy, will address the different needs of women and men, ”she added.
The objectives of the support are in line with the priorities of the Ethiopian government, and the immediate outcomes of the support will include upgrading the competencies of health and care workers related to infection prevention and control and priority core packages of Health services. The project also aims to achieve greater access to essential health services, including the SRHR; increased awareness of SRHR services for women and girls among communities and local authorities; increased awareness and capacity among decision-makers on gender equality issues in relation to the provision of essential health services; and an increased capacity to develop federal health plans and strategies that incorporate elements of resilience.
WHO in Ethiopia will continue to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Health and regional health offices to successfully implement planned activities under the grant and achieve reduction of the burden of preventable diseases and deaths in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. , particularly among women and girls in Ethiopia.