Hello everybody! I am Tigist Fekadu doing my doctoral degree in Spain by the sponsorship of Learn Africa Scholarship Programme facilitated by the Women for Africa Foundation (Fundación Mujeres por África). Even if I am living in Spain, I have information concerning the condition of COVID -19 in Ethiopia because I am in a close contact with my families and friends in Ethiopia. I also follow the news concerning the virus and the preparedness of the country to tackle the problem.
Identification of the people is done either by doing the test at the airport or only doing the test on those people with the sign of the disease. They try to trace those people who have contact with the infected people and put them in quarantine for 14 days to check the presence of the infection. So far two people have died because of the virus and four of them are recovered.
The country is trying to work on the prevention of the transmission of the virus by taking actions like purchasing the necessary health facilities, closing schools, universities, churches, mosques and some offices; allowing hotels and bars to work only during the day time; teaching people about the virus, the symptoms, prevention measures like to wash their hands, to wear gloves, to wear masks, to use disinfectants and to keep social distancing. In addition, spraying some selected cities with disinfectants has done.
Women are plying a leading role in the prevention action of the COVID – 19. The main task force working related to the virus is led by women which is the Ministry of Peace. In addition, women government officials, the President and Ministry of Health, are taking the lead to create awareness about the virus and also to take prevention action. Moreover, women other than the government officials are supporting the government financially and also preparing masks with closes even if it is not the same as the surgical masks. However, many women especially daily workers and those whose income is very low are highly affected by the lockdown principle because they do not afford staying at home to feed their family. They preferred to go out, to do some work and look for food. The condition has also put high burden on mothers since schools are closed and office work still continues.
There are a lot of challenges which the country is facing as a whole no matter what effort has been tried to fight against the virus. For example the health facilities, the resources including testing kits, ventilator, masks, gloves, and so on are not enough as compared to the total population size of the country. The issue of social distancing is another huge problem. As a principle the country is in a lock down situation but the reality is different. There are no enforcements like we see in Europe or United States. People are still living their normal life, no quarantine, no enforcement by police. People do their activities so close to each other for example in market or during transportation.
The other issue is the testing method we used to identify the infected people. Limited numbers of people are tested so far. The test has been done either at the airport when people come from other countries or it is done on people with the sign and symptoms of the disease.
Respect for doctors and front workers!
Let God keep the world safe!