UNICEF continues to support the delivery of messages focused on COVID-19 prevention integrating it with maternal and child health service availability and utilization, hygiene promotion, and nutrition. The messages were delivered through volunteers, social mobilizers, and community outreach with a reach of over 907,418 people in the last three months (Jan-March).
In addition to mass media and community outreach, UNICEF disseminated targeted messages on social media. The messages focused on reinforcing the practice around COVID-19 protective measures in our communities and schools. The videos reached over 1,532,000 people via social media (Link: NPI at home and school).
UNICEF worked with Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and the Ministry of Education for safe school reopening. UNICEF supported the design and production of print, audio, and audio-visual materials to reach 10,000 schools. Over 236,000 posters prepared in 13 languages were distributed to the schools, and a teacher guide for the prevention of COVID-19 was prepared and distributed to over 345,000 teachers in all regions of the country (Link: School Materials ).
UNICEF deployed three senior Risk Communication experts in EPHI and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) to support the coordination and implementation of the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) plan, and the rollout of communication plan for COVID-19 vaccine.
UNICEF has worked with Girl Effect to reach adolescents with relevant messages on COVID-19 prevention, and GBV. The adolescents were reached through TV and Radio Spots, and Yegna Drama series. The campaign is expected to reach over 15 million adolescents and young people. UNICEF in collaboration with Girl Effect will be assessing the exact reach and impact of the campaign. TV spots or videos can be accessed here.
Demand Generation Plan of Action on COVID-19 vaccine introduction has been developed and is endorsed by the Ministry of Health and initial implementation is in process.
UNICEF has supported the development of key messages and communication materials for COVID-19 vaccine in different languages with the production of the initial 10 per cent of the communication products. Hence. UNICEF supported production of posters for health workers (2 versions), poster targeting the elderly (in 6 languages), posters targeting IDPs and refugee (in 5 languages), brochure in 6 languages, job aid for health workers, banner, vaccination cards in 5 languages, and 15 social media posts and monitoring tools for the vaccine rollout. Through this support, UNICEF aims to reach 23,500 health workers, and 1,175,000 community members above 65 years of age, and 37,000 IDPs and refugees.
UNICEF supported orientation of 48 hotline operators (hotline number 8335) and 25 call centre operators (hotline number 952) on the COVID-19 vaccine introduction. Moreover, similar orientation was held for 65 media professionals from government and private media agencies from all regions and city administrations and Regional Heath Bureau public relation experts.
Community engagement through interpersonal communication is a key strategy for reaching hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations. Some 5,000 community leaders, volunteers and health workers are being oriented on COVID-19, and they in turn are expected to reach at least 2.5 million people with key prevention messages.
Celebrity engagement: Key influencers like renowned singer Zeritu Kebede is involved to inform the community on COVID prevention through PSAs and site visit. Zeritu also visited isolation/quarantine centres to encourage health workers on the front line.
Child parliamentarians: Children influencing their peers, child parliamentarians like Kalkidan Hailemariam, president of the Addis Ababa Child Parliament were engaged to urge children and young people to take the coronavirus seriously and to follow all prevention measures prescribed by health professionals.
Youth innovators: Youth innovators like Bethlhem Dessie says COVID-19 has given children and young people a lot of time to explore topics that interest them and create something useful. She believes they should not just use their time on the internet on entertainment but instead do something valuable.
Psychosocial support: Psychosocial supporters like Tigist Waltenegus, a well accomplished trauma psychologist, offer their tips to parents and caregivers on how to cope with depression and anxiety resulted from the pandemic.
Youth engagement: As COVID-19 continues to affect many aspects of daily life, UNICEF has partnered with the Ethiopia Red Cross Society (ERCS) to train youth volunteers to work with community leaders, frontline health workers and women groups to raise public awareness and minimize impact. The volunteers conduct their activities in marketplaces, slums and congested public places like taxi stations.
Health extension workers: Since 2003, health extension workers have been at the forefront of delivering health services, including immunization, at the community level. The health extension workers act as a bridge between the community and public health institutions. With COVID-19, health extension workers have become more critical in mitigating the spread of the virus. They educate communities on prevention and address fears and misinformation.
Livelihoods: The COVID pandemic has negatively affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the world, including Ethiopia. In these times of great uncertainty, UNICEF continues sourcing hygiene supplies from local suppliers which is helping to stave off job losses and supporting livelihoods.
Media engagement: UNICEF constantly engages the media with content on COVID prevention. PSAs, stories, Press Releases have been shared regularly to the media. Such contents were produced in such a way that it fits media interest. Media is also invited regularly on visits and handover events.
Education: In Ethiopia, UNICEF supports the government to develop a distance education plan using radio, TV and other digital platforms. UNICEF also distributed solar radios to children in remote areas so that they can access radio lessons during school closure.
School Reopening: As the government begin to reopen schools across the country, UNICEF and partners have been working closely with the Ministry of Education to adapt the global guidance for reopening schools. Although an entirely risk-free reopening is impossible, much can be done to make the schools safer. UNICEF provided handwashing stations and other hygiene supplies in schools to keep students safe.
COVID-19 vaccines: UNICEF also continues to inform the public on the importance of vaccination against COVID as per WHO guidelines and the misconceptions around it.
The UN Women Ethiopia in close partnership with UNFPA and UNICEF developed a step-by-step pocket guide “How to support survivors of gender-based violence when a GBV actor is not available in your area” that was tailored for Ethiopia in the context of COVID-19. The pocket guide was translated into four local languages (Amharic, Oromiffa, Somali and Tigrinya). Following the endorsement of the pocket guide, the Ministry of Women Children and Youth, a phone app was also developed to broaden accessibility. The launch of the guide also saw a webinar that brought together different stakeholders on the impact of COVID-19 on women, girls and vulnerable groups.
UN Women Ethiopia as part of its humanitarian response, developed IEC materials on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) during COVID-19 and referral pathways and organized Training of Trainers on PSEA and Gender Based Violence in Emergencies (GBViE) for 140 PSEA focal points, 90 service providers/stakeholders and 41 cluster representatives in Addis Ababa, Oromia, SNNPR and Somali regions.
UN Women in collaboration with Women in Self Employment (WISE), delivered food items, sanitizers, detergent and masks to 500 vulnerable women and young migrant returnees as a response to COVID-19 pandemic. The distribution was a follow up to the training carried out for the same group on basic sanitation and hygiene.
UN Women in coordination with the UN Communications Group developed a COVID-19 handbook on reporting COVID-19 for community radio journalists to strengthen their capacity to disseminate key messages on COVID-19 to the communities that are not reached by the mainstream and social media. Two trainings were organized to community radio journalists and a handbook on reporting on COVID-19 was developed to support their activities.
Below the links to IEC materials developed under two categories and in different languages:
Since the onset of COVID-19, UNODC has provided medical supplies items to the Addis Ababa Police Commission, the Federal and Regional Prison Commissions, the Children’s Remand and Rehabilitation Centre that handles children deprived of their liberties, and the Good Samaritans Association which supports victims of trafficking. These include 56 infra-red thermometers, over 10,000 surgical face masks, over 1000 liters of disinfectant, over 1000 liters of hand sanitizers, 245 bedsheets and pillows, 500 rubber sheets and an industrial size washing machine.
Over 12,000 ICE materials were translated into Amharic by UNODC in collaboration with OHCHR, UNICEF, UN Women and the International Committee to the Red Cross (ICRC). The documents target government officials and duty bearers in their work to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and mitigating the impact on vulnerable populations. These include:
UNODC Guidance Notes on “Gender-based violence against women and girls- COVID-19 Guildelines for Law Enforcement”
UNODC Guidance Note, a leaflet and poster on “COVID-19 Prevention Measures in Prisons and Places of Detention”
UNODC Prison Infographics on « COVID-19 and people working in prisons” developed for stall and health care providers
UNODC Prison Infographic posters on “COVID-19 and people living in prisons” developed for staff and prisoners
Selection of videos to raise awareness on risks associated with COVID-19
UNODC translated the video on COVID-19 and falsified medicine to raise awareness on the risks linked to falsified medical products https://youtu.be/yWaLRTqaoK4
More communications updates on COVID-19 from UNODC here.
With funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), UNFPA supported risk communication and community engagement activities as part of its Preparedness and Response Plan on COVID-19.
Media activities consisting of social and behavior change communication and advocacy have been undertaken engaging national and regional media houses to strengthen prevention and responses on COVID-19.
UNFPA established partnership with a national media house (Fana Broadcasting Corporate) and the regional media houses in the Somali region. The partnership enhanced multi-stakeholder communications and dialogues around COVID-19 through both radio and television.
UNFPA facilitated and engaged in a multi-stakeholder television panel discussion on mitigating sexual and gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel discussions attracted participation of stakeholders from the civil society, government, and thematic experts.
UNFPA provided technical and financial support for the production and transmission of a television panel discussion on the issue of ensuring continuity of sexual and reproductive health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNFPA technically and financially supported the production and transmission of a weekly radio programme on Fana Broadcasting Corporate on ensuring continuity of SRH services and rights and mitigating sexual and gender-based violence which was on air for 12 weeks since November 2020.
UNFPA provided technical and financial support for the production and transmission of several radio and television spots on sexual and reproductive health services and rights and mitigating sexual and gender-based violence in 5 different local languages.
UNFPA in partnership with the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth organized a two-day training for journalists drawn from national and regional media on reporting gender-based violence in humanitarian crises and public health emergencies such as COVID-19.
UNFPA partnered with the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth, UNICEF and UN WOMEN to produce and transmit television spots on economic empowerment of women and protection from gender-based violence during COVID-19.
UNFPA partnered with the Ministry of Health to organize a television panel discussion as well as produce and transmit television and radio spots on promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents and youth during COVID-19.
Ethiopia rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination campaign earlier this month, prioritizing frontline health workers, individuals with underlying severe vulnerability conditions and elderly people. People of concern to UNHCR are part of the Government’s vaccination plan. Already, more than 400 refugees volunteering in the health centres in refugee camps in the Gambella Region have been vaccinated.
The Government’s Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and UNHCR, together with the Regional Health Bureaus and other health partners, continue to reinforce their response to the coronavirus in both refugee camps and other locations sheltering refugees and asylum seekers throughout the country. Organizations have enhanced communication on hygiene and are continuously working to reduce overcrowding, to curb the spread of the virus. Supplies of water and soap continue to be provided, together with the installation of handwashing stations, as well as strengthening of health services and the provision of personal protective equipment for health care workers, first responders and others, depending on availability. Health workers continue to take the WHO online vaccination training in anticipation of the rollout of vaccinations in the refugee camps.
There have been 37,006 handwashing stations installed in communal centres and households in 22 of the 26 refugee camps to promote regular handwashing with soap. There were 36,017 handwashing stations installed in refugee households while 989 were set up in communal facilities to provide services to refugees and asylum seekers. More capacity is needed, however, to ensure that every refugee household is equipped with a handwashing facility.
Over 2,500 trained health and community outreach workers are actively engaged in awareness raising, case investigations and management, as well as mitigation, prevention and control of the virus. They include 446 healthcare workers, 22 laboratory technicians and 1,719 community outreach workers who are serving both the refugees and the communities hosting them. In addition, refugee representatives, Refugee Outreach Volunteers (ROVs), women, youth and child committees and other community representatives were trained and are actively engaged to ensure that basic preventive measures are observed in the communities.
The daily average per capita water distribution in the refugee camps stands at 19 litres. While some of the camps have access to 20 liters per person, per day, per the UNHCR standards, others are receiving less than the emergency threshold of 15 liters per person per day. UNHCR, ARRA and partners are working to ensure that all refugees have access to adequate potable water, in keeping with the minimum international standards. The current emergency in the Tigray Region had disrupted the provision of water in Mai Aini and Adi Harush camps where UNHCR currently has access and is working with partners to normalize the provision of services. To date, the per capita water distribution in Adi-Harush and Mai-Aini camps stand at 11.4 and 15.8 litres per person per day, respectively.
Isolation facilities, known as Temporary Assessment Units, have been set up in all refugee camps to temporarily quarantine possible suspected COVID-19 cases, pending their transfer to Government isolation and treatment facilities, as needed. UNHCR has provided hospital beds, mattresses, coverall gowns and other supplies to equip the facilities and the health staff and extended support to the Government-run treatment centers, which are also accessible to refugees. The construction of five additional isolation facilities in the five Melkadida camps has been completed. UNHCR donated PPEs to the Zonal Health Bureau in West Guji, Oromia Region to bolster the government’s effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. The materials, comprising 47 digital thermometers, 87 protective clothes, 84 bottles of hand sanitizers, 47 packs of face masks and 47 packs of surgical gloves, will be distributed among health facilities most in need.
In the capital, Addis Ababa, where over 35,000 urban refugees reside, UNHCR is communicating with refugees via telephone helplines, WhatsApp and Telegram groups on COVID-19 prevention measures. Refugee Outreach Volunteers (ROVs) and refugee leaders are also helping to raise awareness. In addition, telephone helplines and a Digital Request and Complaints System (DRCS) are fully functional. Concerned UNHCR staff are processing and responding to requests that are received on daily basis.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – East Africa Regional Office (UN OHCHR-EARO) in Ethiopia in collaboration with UNODC Regional Office for Eastern Africa and the Embassy of Sweden in Addis Ababa contributed to the handing over of medical supplies, PPE and IEC materials to the Federal Prison Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
OHCHR disseminated the following IEC Materials that have been developed with the support of other UN agencies.
OHCHR and the African Union jointly developed a new guidance: “Seven Actions”: A guide to protect African women’s rights during COVID-19”. This guidance for AU Member States an Civil Society Organizations aims to inform actors on possible actions African States could take, in accordance with their human rights obligations, to avoid discrimination against women and girls in their responses to COVID-19.https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Events/COVID- 19_and_Women_Rights_7_Possible_Actions.pdf
More communications updates on COVID-19 from OHCHR here.
UNIDO disseminated awareness-raising audio clips about COVID-19 and related prevention measures in three local languages (Amharic, Oromifa and Tigrinya). The audio recordings, created by Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programs, were played – at workplace level – addressing all SMEs targeted beneficiaries engaged in most of the UNIDO implementing projects.
UNIDO provided training for trainers of trainees on COVID-19 Prevention and Controlling SoPs for Yirgalem Integrated Agro Industrial Park workers, RTCs and agricultural raw material suppliers. The trainings focus on COVID-19 prevention measures during harvesting, marketing, transportation including the entire processing time.
More communications updates on COVID-19 from UNIDO here.
With $1 million in funding from the government of Japan, UNOPS is constructing water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in Qoloji Camp – an internally displaced persons camp in Ethiopia's Somali Regional State – to help prevent human-to-human transmission of diseases such as COVID-19. This project will benefit around 80,000 people living in the camp and in the host communities.
In partnership with the Ministry of Education and with more than $7 million in funding from the World Bank, UNOPS is helping to establish satellite connectivity for approximately 1,500 high schools across the country. This will be used as a central communication tool between schools and students, ensuring learning activities can continue and national examinations can be held online – both which have been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With €53 million in funding from the European Union (EU), UNOPS is supporting the Intergovernmental Authority on Development with mitigating the health and socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in eight countries. UNOPS will manage projects aimed at supporting migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and cross-border communities in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. As part of this, UNOPS will use more than €17 million in EU funding to procure medical supplies (including equipped ambulances, mobile laboratories and personal protective equipment) and help build quarantine and isolation centres in refugee camps and migration response centres.
UNOPS is working with the government of Ethiopia to procure over $420,000 worth of laboratory equipment and supplies to help strengthen medical capacity and test more people for COVID-19.
With 7.7 million USD funding from the Korean government through KOICA UNOPS Ethiopia office has provided procurement and supply chain management services to support emergency humanitarian interventions.