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Conflict, community, and COVID-19: response and implications in Ethiopia

Martin Plymoth, Yidnekachew G. Mogessie, Israa Mohammed, Dawit Mengesha, Mandy Wang, Shuaibu Saidu Musa, Bezawit Kassahun Bekele, Heaven Yeshaneh Tatere, Mohamed Babiker Musa, Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno, III
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 13, No 3 | a476 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2022.1957 | © 2024 Martin Plymoth, Yidnekachew G. Mogessie, Israa Mohammed, Dawit Mengesha, Mandy Wang, Shuaibu Saidu Musa, Bezawit Kassahun Bekele, Heaven Yeshaneh Tatere, Mohamed Babiker Musa, Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno, III | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2024 | Published: 07 September 2022

About the author(s)

Martin Plymoth, Westmead hospital, Sydney, Australia
Yidnekachew G. Mogessie, St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MD, United States
Israa Mohammed, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
Dawit Mengesha, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mandy Wang, Department of Women's and Newborn Health, Westmead Hospital, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Shuaibu Saidu Musa, Department of Nursing Science, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria
Bezawit Kassahun Bekele, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Heaven Yeshaneh Tatere, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Mohamed Babiker Musa, Faculty of Pharmacy, Omdurman Islamic University, Khartoum, Sudan
Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno, III, Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK; Development Studies, University of the Philippines (Open University), Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

Abstract

Community transmission of COVID-19 is currently on the rise in Ethiopia, while availability of diagnostic and treatment services remains limited. Impaired access to essential services is affected by the pandemic’s strain on the health system, and as a consequence of the country’s public health response. The ongoing conflict in the Tigray Region provides another obstacle to accessing and providing care for the local population; and has displaced large numbers of people both within and outside the country. In this commentary we discuss the impact of the conflict on essential services and argue that a coordinated holistic response is essential to mitigate both short and long-term consequences of the conflict, including increased COVID-19 transmission, acute malnutrition, disruption of education services, displacement of people, and food insecurities. We highlight the important role of community engagement in prevention and early detection of these challenges, and the need for comprehensive interventions in the region.


Keywords

Ethiopia; Tigray; Malnutrition; Community; COVID-19; Conflict; healthcare; system

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