Management Sciences for Health and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society to Bolster the Country’s Response to Health Emergencies 

May 30, 2023

Management Sciences for Health and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society to Bolster the Country’s Response to Health Emergencies 

Arlington, VA and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—May 30, 2023—Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS)—the premier local organization for health resilience and disaster risk management in Ethiopia—are pleased to announce their partnership on the USAID Ethiopia Health Resilience Activity, a five-year project that will help Ethiopia build a local-level culture of preparedness and effective response to public health emergencies. USAID has selected MSH and the ERCS to work with an array of public and private institutions to enhance community expertise and decision making power to manage health emergencies, ultimately leading to less death and disease from those emergencies and the interruptions in health services they cause. 

“We are thrilled to continue to build Ethiopia’s health resilience,” said Marian W. Wentworth, President and CEO of MSH. “Whether they are brought on by climate change, socio-political instability, or common infectious diseases, all public health emergencies are best managed by capable and empowered local teams working within a resilient health system, and that’s what ERCS and other Ethiopian stakeholders are building with our support.” 

Every year, Ethiopia faces multiple complex emergencies that result in loss of lives and livelihoods. The country has state-of-the-art disaster risk management and public health emergency management policies and strategies. But in the communities where Ethiopians live, capacity to access and manage federal resources and implement national plans remains limited. As a result, essential health services are often interrupted during emergencies, with morbidity and mortality increasing not only because of the public health emergency but also because people cannot obtain the health services they need for routine care. 

“The Ethiopian Red Cross Society is pleased to partner with MSH on this exciting project,” said Getachewu Ta’a, Secretary General of ERCS. “The project is in full alignment with our core mission as an organization—to save lives, protect livelihoods, and contribute to community resilience.” 

A combination of effective local leadership and engaged communities, backed by local emergency preparedness and response plans that are supported by national strategies, systems, and legal frameworks, reduces deaths and economic loss. 

MSH and the ERCS will work with local governments, communities, civil society, and the private sector through decentralized teams to establish district-based health resilience centers of excellence and expand health resilience capacity throughout the country. The project includes components of leadership development, capacity strengthening, and community engagement to mobilize local resources and spark local innovation.  

RELATED >>> A Culture of Readiness and Local Agency: MSH’s Position on Pandemic Preparedness and Response 

About Management Sciences for Health in Ethiopia 

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a global leader in health systems strengthening and pandemic preparedness and response. Since 2003, in partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and local governments, MSH has worked to empower leaders, train pharmacy workers, help health facilities select and procure medicines more cost effectively, and design information systems that support evidence-based decision making. MSH’s work has helped address critical health workforce challenges, bolster management and regulatory skills, promote evidence-based planning and decision making, and accelerate diagnostics for COVID-19. More information about MSH in Ethiopia available here

About the Ethiopian Red Cross Society 

The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) was established by a government decree on 8 July 1935 with the mission to prevent and alleviate human sufferings through appropriate and timely humanitarian and development interventions, contribute to the wellbeing of humankind and prevalence of peace by mobilizing the public and partners in Ethiopia and around the world. ERCS has been providing humanitarian services to communities affected by natural and manmade disasters since its establishments by saving lives and protecting livelihoods. In addition to its response interventions, ERCS also runs disaster risk reduction programs relating to health, food security, climate change adaptation, livelihood diversification, and institutional capacity building interventions, with the aim of creating resilient households and communities. As part of its auxiliary role, ERCS works in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Government in addressing the humanitarian needs on the ground. ERCS also works in partnership with international humanitarian organizations such as International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Partner National Societies by mobilizing its own members, volunteers, and the communities we serve. More information about ERCS is available here