"Mobile Health Units" for Ethiopia
On Thursday, 12 August, German Ambassador Joachim Schmidt handed over the keys to 20 so-called "Mobile Health Units" to the UNICEF Resident Representative, Ms. Gillian Mellsop. The 4WD vehicles are part of a joint 20 million Euro multisectoral programme of the Government of Germany (implemented by KfW) and UNICEF in response to the El Niño driven drought of 2015/16 that hit the Ethiopian population hard.
Ambassador Schmidt and Medical Doctor Barbara Veh-Schmidt discussed with UNICEF representatives the services that the mobile health units will provide in pastoral areas. Staffed with a driver and two nurses, and equipped with medical instruments and supplies, these units will allow the treatment of patients in designated areas on a fixed schedule, for example for malnutrition or, and provide vaccinations to limit the outbreak of diseases in the aftermath of the drought.
The Ambassador stressed that while the vehicles are now provided in response to the humanitarian crisis, it is expected that better and regular health services will also help strengthen the health status of pastoralists in regard to future climatic shocks.
All projects and programmes combined, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has provided more than 55 million Euro in order to mitigate the consequences of the drought in Ethiopia.