The World Health Organization (WHO) recently conducted a Joint Operational Review (JOR) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from March 27th to March 31st, 2023. The review aimed to assess WHO’s humanitarian response to northern Ethiopia and drought emergencies, identify gaps, challenges, and best practices, and integrate them into the next phase of the response and recovery plans.
The healthcare system and service delivery in health facilities in Ethiopia have been severely disrupted due to conflict, food insecurity, recurring outbreaks, and limited health emergency management and surveillance capacities. These challenges have significantly impacted the capacity to deliver essential and emergency healthcare services.
The five-day JOR workshop focused on four key pillars of health service delivery: surveillance and outbreaks, leadership and coordination, health information and essential healthcare delivery. The stakeholders involved in the workshop included the Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Regional Heath Bureaus, UN agencies, donors, and health cluster partners. The JOR identified Public Health emergencies that continue to drive the humanitarian needs in the country. Facilitators were from WHO Headquarters, the African Regional Office based in Brazzaville and Nairobi and from the Ethiopia country office.
The review resulted in key findings that will help WHO improve its response to the high burden of emergencies in Ethiopia. Dr. Nonhlanhla Dlamini, WHO’s Ethiopia acting representative, expressed gratitude towards the Ethiopian government and partners, highlighting the importance of collaboration, strengthened coordination, and implementing efficient, flexible, and comprehensive systems to address the challenges.
Dr. Messay Hailu, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute Director General, emphasized the need to create a coordinated system with stakeholders through necessary human resources, finance, and other resources to support the efficient response and rehabilitation of the affected people from natural and human-made disasters.
Overall, the JOR activity is WHO’s core internal strategy to review its health emergency programs, identify areas for improvement, and develop a roadmap for future interventions. The activity will help ensure that agreed-on actions with clearly assigned responsibilities for follow-up actions are communicated to improve current standards and ultimately better the lives of those affected by emergencies in Ethiopia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Ethiopia.