UNICEF Ethiopia mourns colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa

UNICEF Ethiopia mourns colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa
UNICEF Ethiopia staff gather to dedicate a minute of silence to colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Sewunet

UNICEF Ethiopia staff gather to dedicate a minute of silence to colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa.

Below is UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, Gillian Mellsop’s message during the occasion.

“It is with great sorrow that I’ve asked you join me and reflect together on what has happened to our UNICEF colleagues, other UN staff and fellow Ethiopians during the last couple of days.

By now I believe you have been informed about the loss of four of our colleagues, killed yesterday in an attack on a vehicle in which they were riding in Garowe, Somalia. In addition, four other colleagues have been critically injured.

The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest house to the office, normally a three minute drive….

The horrific attack on our UNICEF colleagues is an assault not only on them but on the people, the women and children they served.

This tragic loss again underlines the bravery of our staff across the globe and also the risks we face in the most difficult locations where we work, including in Ethiopia.

Our immediate thoughts are with the families of the staff members who were killed and with those who were injured.  Our colleagues dedicated their lives to working for the children of Somalia. We are here together this morning, to mourn their loss and hope for the full recovery of the injured.

I know many of us have friends and colleagues working in Somalia and some of us may know the victims personally – which makes our pain even more profound.

UNICEF representative to Ethiopia, Gillian Mellsop speaks to staff as UNICEF Ethiopia mourns colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa
UNICEF Representative to Ethiopia, Gillian Mellsop speaks to staff as UNICEF Ethiopia mourns colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Sewunet

Colleagues, It has been a week of shock and sadness for many. Last week, an Ethiopian national was killed during the xenophobic or ‘afrophobia’ attacks which went rampant in Durban, South Africa.

People across the world have also been shocked by the atrocious massacre of some 30 Ethiopian Christian migrants by Islamic State in Libya.

Let us each dedicate a few minutes this morning to think and pray for our colleagues in Somalia; those who lost their lives in the xenophobic attacks; and the brutal killing in Libya – and think about their children, husbands, wives, parents and friends they left behind.

Ethiopia will observe three days of national mourning starting Wednesday, with flags lowered to half-staff mast to mourn what it described as “atrocities committed against our nationals in Libya and South Africa.”

Colleagues, let me reassure you, we are condemning these atrocities, not because those killed are Ethiopian or our colleagues. We – as individuals cannot allow harming or killing of the innocent, regardless gender, nationality, race or religion.

Together, as a UNICEF family we should stand strong against this and instil a respectful environment where we can work and live in harmony.”

Chair Person, Eastern and Southern Africa staff association, Awoke Moges speaks to staff as UNICEF Ethiopia mourns colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa
Chair Person, Eastern and Southern Africa Staff Association, Awoke Moges speaks to staff as UNICEF Ethiopia mourns colleagues who tragically lost their lives in Somalia and Ethiopians killed in Libya and South Africa ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Sewunet

Awoke Moges, Chair Person, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa staff association added “This week will be one of the darkest period for UNICEF family, and Ethiopians families and friends who lost their beloved ones. Our thoughts goes with all of them.

Eastern  and Southern Africa Regional staff association will be in solidarity with all the other country office’s during this difficult period of the year.”

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

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