Our colleague Gerard Poch, Head of Mission of Social Promotion Foundation in Ethiopia, reports from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on the progress of Social Promotion Foundation’s project financed by the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation. In the last monitoring visit to the St. Gabriel Health Centre, he was accompanied by Mario Fanjul, Senior Programme Manager of the Spanish Technical Cooperation Office in the country and in charge of the health sector in Ethiopia.

A Protocol against COVID-19 has been implemented in the health centre and all patients have to wash their hands before entering St. Gabriel. If a patient does not have a mask at the entrance, the health centre provides him/her with one.

When patients enter the centre, their temperature is taken using a digital thermometer. If the result indicates that there is no fever, they can wait at the reception to be attended, respecting the social distance measure of 2 meters.

In case the patient has fever or presents COVID-19 symptoms, a room has been adapted to keep him/her isolated and in quarantine. The next step is to call the COVID-19 task force of the health department in order to transfer the patient to the special centres established by the government.

At St Gabriel some patients had to be isolated with possible infection of COVID-19 but so far there has been no transmission between patients and health centre staff.

To date, a training has been organised for health staff on the proper use of protective equipment and their guidance on the prevention protocol.

There has been a small change respect the project design, the format of sensitization of the surrounding populations has been changed. Initially, three campaigns were to be carried out in the market using a loudspeaker and posters. Due to Ethiopian government regulations to avoid crowding, the centre, together with the local authorities decided to do a door-to-door (home to home) awareness campaign.

Two large posters have been installed to raise awareness and give visibility to the project. One is on the main façade of the health centre and the other has been installed on the main road from Addis Ababa to Debrezeit.

The project is progressing well so far. There has not been community transmission among the patients and health staff at the health centre. There was one doctor who had to be quarantined at home for 14 days because his wife contracted the virus, but fortunately and due to the prevention measures taken, no staff or patients at the centre were infected.

The project has purchased protective equipment and disinfection material, has designed posters and carried out awareness raising activities.