Ethiopia and its partners working together to achieve MDG 5

By Loza mesfin/WHO

Anneka Knutsson, Head of Development Cooperation (SIDA), signs ‘Accelerating Progress for Maternal and Newborn Health’ programme document
Anneka Knutsson, Head of Development Cooperation (SIDA), signs ‘Accelerating Progress for Maternal and Newborn Health’ programme document © WHO/2013/Loza Mesfin

Five United Nations agencies, known as UNH4+ (UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and WHO) and the Federal Ministry of Health signed an agreement with the Government of Sweden (through the Swedish International Development Agency – Sida) on the work plan for a joint project on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in Ethiopia, 2013-2015. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Hon Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Ethiopian Minister of Health, at the African Union Conference Center during the historic International Conference on Family Planning.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr Kesetebirhan appreciated the support of development partners in the Government’s efforts to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. He further expressed his satisfaction at how the partnership is supporting the Government’s initiative, with the Government in the driving seat. “With such country ownership and continued support of partners, the achievement of MDG 5 is not out of reach,” he underscored.

WHO Representative, Dr Pierre M’pele speaks at launch of joint project on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in Ethiopia,
WHO Representative, Dr Pierre M’pele speaks at launch of joint project on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in Ethiopia,

Also speaking at the event, WHO Representative, Dr Pierre M’pele recalled that Ethiopia has already achieved MDG 4 two years ahead of schedule by reducing child mortality rates, and affirmed that the joint program comes “At the right time to strengthen the partnership of the UN agencies delivering as one and Sida with the Federal Ministry of Health to work together to achieve MDG 5.”

In its endeavor to maximize the impact of its support to the Government of Ethiopia, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) is working with the principle of Delivering as One and strengthening joint efforts of the UN agencies in advancing priority areas within the development agenda. Both the Government of Ethiopia and the UNCT recognize maternal and newborn health as one of the top priority areas that require the concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the few years remaining of the MDGs. This work plan for the Sida/H4+ grant contributes to filling gaps in the current joint efforts by UN agencies in supporting the FMOH for implementation of the National Road Map for Accelerating Reduction of Maternal and Newborn Mortality and Morbidity, and thereby pave the way for Ethiopia to meet MDG 5 of by 2015, reducing maternal mortality ratio and increasing access to reproductive health.

This blog post is extracted from World Health Organization Ethiopia Country Office media release.

Ethiopia takes action against rotavirus

In September, Ethiopia and UNICEF announced that the country had reduced its under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2012 – the required reduction for meeting the target of Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) on child survival.

“Ethiopia is becoming a development leader on the African continent, the success is driven by political commitment, advances in science and technology and improvements in health, nutrition and family planning services, particularly in the rural areas,” said Peter Salama, UNICEF representative in Ethiopia. Read more

Ethiopia Set to Save Children from Diarrhoea

This content originally appeared on newbusinessethiopia.com

Minister of Health, H.E. Dr. Keseteberhan Admassu makes official launching statement of Rotavirus Vaccine introduction to Ethiopia“Diarrhoea takes the lives of more than 38,500 Ethiopian children under-five each year, rotavirus being responsible for close to two-thirds of the deaths,” said Ethiopia’s Minister of Health Dr Admasu Kesetebirhan. “Providing rotavirus vaccines to our children and integrating them with appropriate diarrhoeal disease control interventions will further support our efforts to reduce child mortality.”

Ethiopia has undertaken significant work to introduce the rotavirus vaccine nationally. It has significantly expanded its cold chain facilities nationwide and deployed health extension workers to provide immunisation services in each village with at least 5,000 people, in a country with 84 million people spread across 1.1 million square kilometres.

“Ethiopia is becoming a development leader on the African continent, the success is driven by political commitment, advances in science and technology and improvements in health, nutrition and family planning services, particularly in the rural areas,” said Dr Peter Salama, UNICEF representative in Ethiopia. Read more

Rotary International guests from US and Canada visit UNICEF Ethiopia to support polio eradication efforts

By Shalini Rozario

Group photo: Rotary International guests from US and Canada visit UNICEF EthiopiaOn 12 November 2013, members of Rotary International’s Polio Advocacy Group paid a visit to UNICEF Ethiopia to meet with Dr. Peter Salama, UNICEF Representative, to discuss the status of the wild polio virus circulation within the Horn of Africa and to learn more about UNICEF activities and contribution.

UNICEF welcomed the visitors with much appreciation for their dedication and interest in immunization efforts. A presentation was given by Dr. Salama on the overview of UNICEF response alongside a short film on community engagement for polio immunization highlighting communication activities supported by polio partners including Rotary International and the National Polio Plus Committee. Following the presentation, the discussion included topics such as access challenges to reach remote communities; flexible funding for the evolving outbreak and how broader strategies could help to maximize large scale community participation and support to polio, routine immunization and child survival generally.

Community Engagement for Polio Immunization in Ethiopia

The Rotary Advocacy Group is part of a larger group of 45 Rotarians from the United States and Canada who are visiting Ethiopia this week to demonstrate their interest and support for the polio eradication efforts.

Globally, Rotary International has supported polio eradication efforts for the last 34 years and is one of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative Partners alongside the World Health Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF.

See photos from the visit here. 

Ethiopia administers vaccine against rotavirus

Minister of Health, H.E. Dr. Keseteberhan Admassu launches Rotavirus Vaccine introduction by giving the first drops to a child  at Zewditu hospital, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaEthiopia has started administering a vaccine against a rotavirus which leads to severe and often fatal diarrhea in children under the age of five, according to the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Administration of the vaccine is expected to protect 2.8 million children born in Ethiopia. The country has one of the highest fatality rates from rotavirus with more than 38,500 children under the age of five dying every year because of diarrhea, of which two-third of death related to the virus.

“Ethiopia is becoming a development leader on the African continent, the success is driven by political commitment, advances in science and technology and improvements in health, nutrition and family planning services, particularly in the rural areas,” Peter Salama, UNICEF representative in Ethiopia stated. Read more

Nation introduces Rota Vaccine

The Ministry of Health (MoH) inaugurated a vaccine against rota virus which helps the nation to decrease under five mortality. Annually, 28,000 Ethiopian children under five die from diarrhoea caused by rota virus.

At the inaugural ceremony of the vaccine at Zewditu Referral Hospital yesterday, Health Minister Dr. Kesete-Birhan Admassu said that the scaling up of the immunization programme in the country has made significant contribution to achieve MDG-4 (reduction of child mortality) by 2/3, three years ahead of time. “Our collaborative effort of bringing more life-saving vaccines into routine immunization programme will continue to contribute immensely towards the saving of precious lives,” he added.

Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Deputy Representative to Ethiopia, speaks  On the Occasion of the launch of Rotavirus Vaccine introduction in Ethiopia

UNICEF Deputy Representative to Ethiopia Patrizia Di Giovanni said that prevention, rather than treatment of infection through immunization is one of the safest and least expensive means to avoid unnecessary child death. Ethiopia has expanded the programme of immunization with the support of GABI and partners. The implementation of the vaccine has been rapidly creating opportunities for providing fullest benefit of vaccines, She added.

She said that Ethiopia recognizes diarrhoea caused by rota virus as a formidable public health problem. As rota virus infection is associated with the most severe types of diarrhea in infants and young children, today’s introduction of rota virus vaccine is expected to save children’s lives lost to one of the leading causes of child mortality in the country — diarrhoeal disease. Read more

‘I have 29 children’: The ‘mothers’ to Ethiopia’s most vulnerable kids

CNN

The group, whose name translates as “Light from the stars,” works with other civil society organizations on projects such as renovating an early childhood development center, where children are taught Amharic and English.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (CNN) — On the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the dusty crowded neighbourhood of Akaki, I’ve just been treated to a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. The beans are roasted and the coffee boiled in front of you then served piping hot with a heaping spoonful of sugar and a side of freshly popped corn.

As I step out onto the dirt road to leave, one of my hosts wants to ask a question: do I know anyone who can donate some wheelchairs, so adults don’t’ have to carry disabled children on their backs to school any more?

I wish I did.

The woman who needs the wheelchairs is one of the 20,000 volunteers for Yekokeb Berhan, a USAID-funded program trying to help half a million highly vulnerable children. The name means “Light from the Stars” in Amharic, and is meant to reflect the resiliency of children.

After spending a week working with the volunteers here, I have no doubt those wheelchairs are going to find their way, due to the resiliency of the adults.

Yekokeb Berhan volunteers are chosen by community committees and given training in health, parenting, budgeting and life skills. Then they go out into communities, to find and identify the most vulnerable children. Each volunteer will take in 25 of those kids as her own.

“I have 29 children” says Sintayehu Kenna, a mother of four (plus 25), “I can’t separate them from my own. I love them. ”

The program’s philosophy is that the way to help children is to help their families. More often than not, assistance is needed in multiple areas — and that means these volunteers have had to become master networkers — calling on friends, family, neighbours, local businessmen and faith leaders to get the kids what they need. Read more on CNN