COVID 19 Response


WHAE has taken a proactive measure in efforts of mitigating the harm caused by the pandemic. Below are some of our activities.

The Problem

Ethiopia confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 13 March 2020, two days after the WHO declared a pandemic of the disease. Numerous public health interventions have been put in place, but the rampancy of this pandemic has continued to plague the world- and our country is not an exception. In Ethiopia, the majority of the society being of low to low-middle socioeconomic status, is dependent on daily hustles for survival. Our communal way of life also makes social distancing and other preventive measures difficult to implement. This pandemic, in addition to the direct health risks it poses, has multiple social adverse effects. This includes reduced utilization of family planning and reproductive health services as well as increased reports of gender-based violence and abuse

What We Did

Coronavirus has helped WHAE to adapt to new ways of educating local unit women, GOT members and the community on health and how to respond to a crisis.

Monthly Health Education

With the onset of COVID-19, WHAE produced a virus prevention manual to be used by all local units and GOT members. The manual outlined the general nature of viruses, modes of transmission, symptoms, self-protection, and maintaining personal and environmental hygiene. The purpose of the manual is to bring about behavior change among local unit and GOT women and among their family members.

The face-to-face monthly health education sessions have been discontinued from March to September because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, our nurses and Change Agents pay home visits and make weekly phone calls among local unit women to impart COVID prevention methods such as wearing a mask, frequent handwashing and sanitizing hands and social distancing. This is done by utilizing the WHAE virus protection manual and up-to-date advice from the WHO.  Change Agents and nurses also closely monitor households for gender-based violence talking to local unit women and assessing prevalent situations.

Hand washing Campaigns

Handwashing Campaign.jpg

WHAE organized 10 handwashing campaigns in all regions from April to December 2020 and reached a total of 4,943 people in addition to the weekly house-to-house visits and phone calls. Proper handwashing, use of sanitizer/alcohol, the use and proper wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing have been demonstrated by regional staff. Washable masks, sanitizers, alcohol, and soaps have also been provided to all local unit and GOT women to ensure their safety. Locally developed handwashing gadgets were purchased and provided to the women during the handwashing campaigns

Food Distribution

Understanding the economic impact of COVID on local unit and GOT women, WHAE provided food support (flour, cooking oil, legumes, and produce) to local unit and GOT women in three rounds.

Training on COVID-19

A team of well-versed and experience medical doctors and health officers, specifically those working in COVID-19 prevention, served as trainers on the topic of COVID-19. This training was aimed at empowering females on issues of COVID-19, including the disease entity, transmission, preventive measures and frequently asked questions and misconceptions. WHAE brought COVID-19 preventive measures to the ground level and showed trainees how they can easily implement them in their day to day lives, without compromising their livelihoods and means of obtaining income.  The training was given in 10 areas of the country, namely: Chancho, Jimma, Wolkite, Hagere Selam, Assosa, Debrebirhan, and Diredawa, Addis Ababa, Mekelle and Harar- with a total of 496 participants.

Mentoring local nurses

Another important component of the aforementioned training was to equip local staff and nurses with the necessary knowledge, as well as demonstration and facilitation skills in order for them to further the COVID-19 training for subsequent participants. To this end, nurses’ facilitation manual has been developed. In addition to the this, a video guide was set up by trainers to further assist the nurses with the training process.