Africa Covid-19: Eritrea a model to follow
By Michel Tedil
Asmara – A country that is achieving excellent results in preventing and managing the epidemic in Covid-19 is Eritrea. A small country long demonized because of its independence and its resilience against any foreign interference.
With only 39 positive cases including 37 cured and no deaths, this is the country that deserves our congratulations and our respect. We wanted to know more about the reasons for this success by interviewing the international organizations present in the country. The responses obtained can be summarized as follows:
- 1-patriotic and disciplined population that has been actively mobilized to face the challenges posed by this pandemic
- 2- continuous and effective awareness-raising action on the part of the media
- 3- effective prevention management on the part of the Government, which quickly closed the air, sea and land borders by quarantining all those who have arrived since the start of the epidemic
- 4- effective measures to support families during the confinement period through direct aid from the Government and Eritrean citizens from within the country and from the diaspora
- 5- support and care for the most vulnerable by local communities.
With a population of 4.5 million, a government which has made equal opportunities for all its citizens, the pole star of its policy which translates into free education and health for all, Eritrea is an example to follow in Africa. After the peace with Ethiopia and the resumption of relations with the international community, we foresee a very promising future there. Already, housing, road, port, health, hotel construction programs will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and encourage the return of a diaspora that has always been recognized for its patriotism and dynamism.
Software translation – France 24 heures
UNICEF applies innovative strategies for COVID-19 response in Eritrea
UNICEF bolsters local industries to manufacture hand sanitizers, and remodels the nutrition programme to address malnutrition among children under 5
Asmara, Eritrea 1 May 2020 – As the world hunkered down under the onslaught of COVID-19 and rushed to implement containment measures, this tiny country in the Horn of Africa was already prepared with a prevention and response plan. Even before the first positive case was detected on 21 March, UNICEF Eritrea and other UN agencies including WHO, were supporting the government’s efforts on the National COVID-19 Response Plan.
By the time major transport hubs announced lockdown measures, UNICEF Eritrea’s internal contingency plan had identified bottlenecks to transport and supplies, and immediately began looking within the country for alternative channels of supply and production.
Innovative strategy helps augment prevention and offsets delays from external suppliers
“We anticipated delayed deliveries and our team identified a factory, and in coordination with the Ministry of Health (MoH), we worked to produce a local version of hand sanitizer, based on WHO guidelines,” says David Tsetse, the WASH Manager for UNICEF Eritrea.
Within three weeks more than 12,000 bottles of locally produced hand sanitizers had been produced and disseminated, in addition to the 86,000 bars of soap to the MoH, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) for health facilities, schools and vulnerable populations.
UNICEF continues to work with MoH, MoE, MoLSW and the Ministry of Information (MoI), and applies an integrated approach to support the governments’ efforts to prevent, mitigate and contain the virus. Critical medical supplies and PPE items were immediately ordered; UNICEF supported MoE with guidelines and textbooks were made available to the Zobas for distribution to schools, and technical support on remote distance learning for children on radio and television; and MoLSW on plans for social transfers in cash and kind to vulnerable families affected by COVID-19.