23 July 2019: Addis Ababa – The responsibility to eliminate cholera in Ethiopia – a country where almost a third of the population has sub-standard water supplies – lies with stakeholders at all levels, from ministries to partners and non-governmental organizations.
This was the message to delegates at a recent high level briefing with sectoral ministries, regional health bureaus, partners and donors on a multi-sectoral approach to eliminating cholera from Ethiopia by 2030.
The briefing aligned itself with Ending Cholera: A Global road map to 2030: a call to action issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). Health and non-health actors at the briefing were informed about the global road map with the aim of prompting a national commitment to developing an evidence based multi-sectoral cholera elimination strategy for Ethiopia.
“Eliminating cholera outbreaks requires developmental work which incorporates multi-sectoral engagement as well as an investment in infrastructure. In our ongoing efforts to control outbreaks, this is a great opportunity for Ethiopia to adapt and develop the global strategy in line with our National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS),” said Dr Lia Tadesse, State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Health (FmoH) in her opening remarks.
The Global Roadmap to 2030 provides a concrete path towards a world in which cholera is no longer a threat to public health. It calls upon development partners to support countries to reduce cholera deaths by 90 percent by 2030 and is based on three strategic axes; early detection and quick response to contain outbreaks at an early stage, a multi-sectoral approach to prevent cholera in hotspots in endemic countries and an effective mechanism of coordination for technical support, resource mobilization and partnership at the local and global level.
The implementation of the global road map is supported by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), a WHO-led global technical partnership that offers an effective and well-coordinated platform for ending cholera.
Speaking at the event, Dr Negash Wegasho, State Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MOWIE), said that nearly a third of the population access water supply that is below the national standard level and sanitation is poor in the country, even though the ministry is working with other line ministries and WASH partners.“A concerted effort is needed among other line ministries and stakeholders if we are to eliminate cholera. We share this duty.”
Dr Ebba Abate, the Director General of Ethiopian Public Health Institute, pointed out that responding to a particular cholera outbreak is a short term solution and one that requires huge investment. However, tackling the risk factor through a holistic approach by involving all concerned will bring about sustainable solution and help reduce the many lives that are lost every year as a result of the disease.
Dr Aggrey Bategereza, WHO representative to Ethiopia, officer in charge, reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to continue supporting interventions, including the development of the national cholera elimination strategy.
The briefing closed with a commitment from all stakeholders to develop a national road map which will guide the development of a multi-sectoral cholera elimination strategy for the country.
For Additional Information or to Request Interviews, Please contact:
Dr Aggrey Bategereza
WHO Representative, OIC
World Health Organization, Ethiopia
Email: bategerezaa [at] who.int
Dr, Abrahams Mwanamwenge
Email: mwanamwengea [at] who.int
Ms Tseday Zerayacob Negash
World Health Emergencies, Ethiopia
Email: negasht [at] who.int