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Ethiopia taps army of women health workers to fight coronavirus

ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Masks and hand washing may help stem the coronavirus outbreak but in Ethiopia health officials are busy deploying another key resource: women.

Source: Ethiopia taps army of women health workers to fight coronavirus

ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Masks and hand washing may help stem the coronavirus outbreak but in Ethiopia health officials are busy deploying another key resource: women.

An army of community health workers – many of them women who in the 2000s helped reduce maternal mortality – are now trying to stop the disease spreading in the east African country.

In sprawling cities and remote villages this women-led workforce of 40,000 is tasked with improving hygiene, monitoring new cases, and dispelling myths about COVID-19 which has infected over 10,000 people in Africa.

“The trust (these women) have built through the years will help us reach communities as early as possible,” said Temesgen Ayehu of Ethiopia’s health ministry.

Only 52 cases of the novel coronavirus have been detected in Ethiopia but experts are worried an outbreak could be hard to contain in the nation of 105 million where few people can access professional doctors or hospitals.

 

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