Canada Bolsters Ethiopian Health Care Delivery in Pandemic

ADDIS ABABA – The World Health Organization and Canada signed an agreement to ensure functional health services in the context of COVID-19 in Ethiopia, the UN agency said.

Through this agreement, Canada will provide WHO a grant amounting to 9.9 million Canadian dollars to strengthen the primary health care capacity to deliver essential health services, particularly for women, girls and vulnerable populations.

The support is expected to make the health facilities effective in COVID-19 response to avoid additional preventable sickness and death among the Ethiopian population.

“The grant will not only strengthen the provision of quality, gender-responsive essential health services at primary care level but also boost health system resilience by building the capacity of regional and city health authorities to deal with current and future crises,” said Dr. Boureima Hama Sambo, the WHO Representative to Ethiopia.

The grant is expected to benefit approximately 6.5 million Ethiopians.

The remaining are indirect beneficiaries, benefiting from the efforts to strengthen both the federal and regional health systems, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, according to WHO Ethiopia.

Stephen Weaver, acting Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia, said the latest support would target securing frontline workers safety with the training, medicine, and equipment.

Besides, he said this funding would support efforts to ensure the continuation of essential health services including sexual and reproductive for vulnerable populations during the Covid pandemic.

“These services, in line with Ethiopia’s strategies and Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, will address the different needs of women and men,” Counsellor said.

The objectives of the support are in line with the priorities of the Ethiopian government, said the WHO Ethiopia. The agency also said it will continue to work closely with Health Ministry and bureaus to successfully implement the activities planned under the grant support.

[Photo UNICEF Ethiopia/Tewodros Tadesse]