Infectious diseases and epidemics have devastating effects on people’s lives, with long-term economic and social consequences. Bringing attention to the importance of having a strong surveillance system, exchanging information, knowledge and best practices, and promoting education on epidemics is fundamental to building a robust health system.
AICS Addis Ababa works through several programmes to strengthen the health system’s capacity to be ready to and manage infectious diseases and epidemics.
Together with Provincia Autonoma di Trento and other national and international partners* AICS has been implemented in the past three years the “Strengthening of the surveillance system for the infectious diseases” project to enhance the epidemiological surveillance system and the capacity to face epidemics in some zones of the Ethiopian Oromia region. The project has faced the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, concretely applying mathematical models and tools to face it and supporting the local authorities in the response.
Being responsible also for Djibouti, AICS Addis Ababa has been working on building a resilient and strong health system, especially to be prepared and respond to pandemics and other infectious diseases.
The Italian cooperation, through the World Health Organization (WHO), collaborates to respond to different emergencies in Djibouti, including the preparedness and response to epidemics, communicable diseases and other vector borne diseases such as malaria. The project is therefore working to mitigate excess mortality and morbidity from malaria and different infectious diseases through ensuring equitable access to life-saving preventive and curative health services and interventions for the population. To this end, it strengthens early detection, investigation and control of waterborne, vector borne, epidemic-prone and vaccine preventable diseases.
Ensuring strong health structures and the possibility to access health systems being aware of the possible diseases to whom people are exposed is a right for everyone, and it represents a key component to improving the everyday living conditions for all. Health – understood as a right and at the same time as a condition and opportunity for development – continues to be a priority for the Italian Cooperation.
*Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), Collegio Universitario Aspiranti Medici Missionari, CUAMM Medici con l’Africa Trentino, Informatici Senza Frontiere (ISF), Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari (APSS) della PAT, Ethiopian Catholic Church, social and Development Commission (ECCSDCO),South West Shoa Zone Health Department (SWSZHD).