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We are really looking forward to you joining us on the upcoming virtual project visit to the ITL Preparedness and Early Response to Public Health Emergencies project in Ethiopia.

In this pre-trip update we provide some useful background context for all you will hear and see next week.


In advance of the virtual trip we were keen to introduce you to some of those whom you will meet during the session.

Community health workers

The ITL project works in two zones (South Omo and Konso), and in each zone the project operates in 2 woredas (districts). Konso and South Omo have been badly affected by drought for the past 6 years causing widespread challenges including communicable disease outbreaks (malaria, measles, cholera and diarrhoea), desert locusts and malnutrition. 

During the trip you will meet community representatives from across the following woredas - Benatsemay, Kena and Kerat woredas. Those pictured below are members of the Health Development Armies at community level and Health Extension Workers at community health outposts.

The Health Defence Army are community-based volunteers who identify, report and refer cases of communicable diseases. Each member has responsibility for providing information to the community within their locality, with a specific responsibility for conducting home visits to around 30-50 households. As such they play a vital role in ensuring rapid response to potential outbreaks, delivering community-based health messaging and reporting potential outbreaks to the Health Extension Worker at the Health Post, who in turn reports to the Health Office. 

Training through this project on public health emergency management has enabled Health Defence Armies to provide information to  communities on preventative WASH measures and strengthened their capacity in making referrals. The new health reporting formats have also assisted the Health Extension Workers in capturing disease instances and reporting them to health centres in a more effective way, thus triggering pre-emptive action as soon as possible and saving lives. 


Health Development Army member - Kena Woreda

Keshi is a member of the Health Defence Army in Kena Woreda

Bruk Girma is a Health Extension Worker in Kena Woreda health post 

Health Extension Worker - Kena Woreda
Health Development Army Member - Karat woreda

Masare is a member of the Health Development Army in Karat Woreda 

Kataye Kasata is a Health Extension Worker in Kena woreda 

Health Extension Worker - Kena Woreda

We also want to introduce the Public Health Emergency Management Officers (PHEM Officers) who will be joining the session. PHEM Officers coordinate and assist efforts to improve the preparedness of the health sector and the preparedness of communities to reduce the public health consequences of outbreaks of diseases. Strengthening the Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) system is key to preventing and treating communicable disease outbreaks 

Public Health Emergency Management Officer

Kuse is a Public Health Emergency Management Officer in Kena Woreda 

Agmas is PHEM officer in Benatsemay woreda 

Public Health Emergency Management Officer

Finally we introduce those who are leading on project delivery within Christian Aid, and our local partner organisation, Action for Development (AFD).

ITL Ethiopia Project Partner AFD

Neway Abayneh, Coordinator at AFD

Degefu Getachew, Christian Aid Ethiopia Program officer

Degefu Getachew

ITL project factsheet

Need a quick reminder of what the project is trying to achieve? Click below to access the project factsheet.