Ethiopia’s Public Health Capability Bolstered by US’s $20mln Coronavirus Aid

ADDIS ABABA – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed 20mln US dollars to strengthen Ethiopia’s core public health capabilities, its embassy said on Friday.

The aid would bolster the East African nation’s capabilities in disease surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, immunization, and emergency management through a partnership with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), regional health bureaus and other key partners.

The support is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act originally published on March 27, 2020.

The EPHI – Ethiopia’s leading public institute – provides governance and strategic guidance for executing the CARES funding and related systems.

The Institute will work on emergency operations, surveillance, workforce development, information systems, and laboratory support to the COVID 19 response, according to the embassy.

One critical lesson learned from the COVID-19 global pandemic is how disease threats can spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before, said the US Embassy in a statement that announced the 20mln aid.

The COVID-19 pandemic can be taken as an opportunity to strengthen core public health functions of disease surveillance and response, workforce development, and associated lab and information systems, it added.

This project emphasizes strengthening existing public health infrastructure in line with the Ethiopian Preparedness and Response Plan strategy of integrating COVID-19 into the health care system and decentralization of the COVID-19 response.

The latest funding builds on CDC’s long-standing global investments to control HIV, TB, and malaria, eradicate polio, and prepare for influenza and other pandemic diseases, according to the embassy.

CDC investments to improve health security in Ethiopia have laid foundations to rapidly and effectively prepare for emerging threats, including the current coronavirus outbreak.

Featured Image: Laboratory technicians working at EPHI  [Photo File]