EPPAD Philanthropy Group Plan for Response to Covid-19 in Ethiopia

Macadonia volunteerEthiopia, like all the global community, is faced with the growing COVID19 threat that is endangering the economy, security and public health of its citizens. Ensuring access to essential health care supplies and equipment is a key component of the national response to COVID-19 prevention and control. There is shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), other protective, control and supportive medical/diagnostic supplies that constrain the ability of health system to effectively respond to the crisis in a safe and efficient manner. 

Despite financial, infrastructural and human resources constraints, Ethiopia is managing to embarked on a number of promising prevention and containment interventions to address the global COVID19 pandemic.

The Ethiopian Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists Association in the Diaspora (EPPAD) has taken steps to stand by the side of Ethiopia in its effort to respond to the crisis and beyond.

EPPAD is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c) (3) membership association of Ethiopian pharmaceutical professionals in diaspora incorporated in the State of Virginia, USA. The Association aims to bring pharmaceutical and allied professionals together and serve as a platform for knowledge exchange, promotion of business, access to safe and quality medicines, and policy dialogue with a focus on:

  • Human capacity development through continual education, training, and mentorship;
  • Business development in pharmaceutical manufacturing, supply chain, and R&D;
  • Advocacy in policy, regulatory matters; and
  • Philanthropy/community welfare

Since EPPAD’s establishment in late 2018, the Philanthropy Group has supported critical need areas in the pharmaceutical sector to realize immediate practical responses.

The objective of the EPPAD Corona-19 response is to collaborate with the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Association (EPA), and other groups such as the national advisory council’s (NAC), Pharmaceutical, Equipment and Laboratory Supplies/Logistics (PELS) team to support the Government’s effort to address issues related to shortages of essential supplies identified for emergency response to COVID-19. The support will focus on pharmaceutical oriented areas that otherwise may not be given attention by other donors.

EPPAD’s COVID19 response strategy will be a combination approach of providing selected critical materials with selected capacity building initiatives in high-impact, low-cost interventions, such as scaling up local production of hand sanitizers at hospital and community pharmacies, as well as promotion of rational use of COVID19 products. 

To kick start this effort, EPPAD Philanthropy Group used funds from its existing resources to buy selected critical materials such as IR thermometers, Biohazard bags, Gloves, Masks and Sanitizers to be sent to Ethiopia. Moving forward, EPPAD launched a Gofundme drive to scale-up the already initiated support.