RELIEF BULLETIN: Weekly Humanitarian Highlights in Ethiopia, 26 December 2003


Nutrition Survey in West and East Hararghe, Oromiya region

CARE Ethiopia in collaboration with government partners conducted two 30 by 30 cluster nutrition surveys in the lowland and dry midland areas of seven woredas in West Hararghe and lowland areas of four woredas in East Hararghe from November 18 to 30, 2003. The major objective of this survey was to monitor any changes in nutritional status of the population overtime. In West Hararghe, as per the Emergency Nutrition Guideline, the November 2003 survey findings do not indicate a critical and serious level of malnutrition. However, both GAM rate (8%) and SAM rate (0.6) have not statistically significantly improved compared to the previous survey result in June 2003 (GAM 10.1%, SAM 1.3%). The current GAM rate (8%) and SAM rate (0.6%) show a significant improvement in nutritional condition compared to the first round survey result (GAM 15.1, SAM 3.6%) in September 2002. In East Hararghe although findings indicate poor nutritional status, both GAM rate (9.1%) and SAM rate (0.4) demonstrate a significant improvement in nutritional condition compared to the first round survey result (GAM 14.9, SAM 1.5%) in May 2003.



The Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF held a press conference this week on the Government's and its partners' response to the ongoing malaria epidemic and to correct misleading reports that have appeared in the media. The Malaria Control Support Team (MCST), which is the malaria forum chaired by the MOH and attended by UN agencies, donors and NGOs, has agreed to the following strategies to respond to the malaria epidemic: Rapid anti-malaria drug distribution and outbreak response; targeted indoor residual spraying (IRS); and the distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) free-of-charge to the most vulnerable groups in the worst affected areas.  All interventions are being strengthened through detailed micro-planning, training, social mobilization and supervision at the regional and district level. The MOH is currently conducting a study, with the support of MSF Holland and WHO, on the efficacy of ACTs in the country. Another study on the efficacy of the anti-malarial SP, to identify and verify resistance levels, is also underway by the MOH with WHO support. The results of both studies will be available early next year. Based on those findings, the MOH will evaluate whether the national anti-malarial drug treatment policy should be amended. If so, UNICEF and WHO will support adoption and application of the new policy in order to maintain effective control of malaria morbidity and mortality in Ethiopia.



A five-day workshop on the management of acute malnutrition, malaria, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis/Leprosy in health training institutions was conducted in Yirgalem Hospital, SNNPR, from 22-26 December. UNICEF Nutritionist provided orientation on the management of acute malnutrition to 25 participants from five Health Professionals Training Institutions (HPTIs) and Regional Health Bureau (RHB) during the SCF-US financed workshop. The SNNPR Health Bureau and HPTIs have taken the lead in adopting the improved protocols on the treatment of malnutrition and other communicable diseases into the training curriculum. Workshop participants also discussed their experiences implementing the protocol on the management of acute malnutrition, including the results of the deployment of 200 students in SNNPR health units during the crisis. The participants concurred that the implementation of the protocol saved many children in SNNPR during the recent crisis. The SNNPR workshop follows up on the national consensus meeting held in Nazareth in June in which the protocol on the management of severe acute malnutrition in Ethiopia was adopted. In addition, a three-day training workshop on the protocol conducted by UNICEF in North Gondar, at the university teaching hospital, Amhara region, from November 26 to 28 2003. Health Professionals from Jimma and Addis Ababa Universities will be trained in January 2004.

Over 600 People Displaced by Violence in Gambella provided with food aid

The Gambella Woreda Administration Council stated that over 600 people displaced by the recent violence by lawless groups were provided food and other forms of assistances. According the Woreda Deputy Chief Administrator, 90 quintals of food grain, and various liters of edible oil and plastic sheet have been distributed among the people whose residential homes have been destroyed. The number of people affected by the recent violence in the Gambella state is yet to be identified.