The focus of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness in Gambella project is strengthening the capacity of the government’s preparedness, early warning and prompt response at Woreda (district) level and that of the host communities at local levels. This project will enable the health sector and the community systems to predict and detect public health emergencies and act as quickly as possible.
The basic assumption is that the rapid response limits the number of cases and geographical spread, shortens the duration of the outbreak, reduces case fatalities and help to save resources that would be necessary to mitigate effects of public health emergencies. To this effect, the project ultimately will establish as a pilot a resilient health system that has the capacity to anticipate and respond to health emergencies during disasters or emergencies.
Preparedness: The project works towards increasing the number of health facilities that are able to cope with the health emergencies in Gambella region. Based on criteria jointly developed with the Ministry of Health, a number of health facilities will be selected for capacity improvements. In addition, the performance of one Public Health Regional Laboratories centre has been strengthened through the procurement of equipment and emergency drugs.
Capacity strengthening: To increase the skills and capacity of health staff to respond to health emergencies, training toolkits will be duplicated from approved Public Health Emergency Management training guidelines and training will be carried out with a number of stakeholders including Rapid Response Team members, health extension workers and community health volunteers.
Health information systems strengthening: To strengthen the linkage between weather and health information and to enhance early warning systems, this project has procured and will install 4 automatic weather stations, and link with the Early Warning Oxfam led project as well as the DFID Funded BRACED programme. This will be supported by GIS mapping of community health problems and preparation of health preparedness and response plans in six Woredas. The data collected through automated satellite system will be analysed, interpreted and disseminated for early warning and early action.
The project has been developed by Christian Aid and Amref Health Africa in collaboration with the National Metrology Agency and Federal Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ethiopia Public Health Institute.