COVID-19 in Ethiopia- The role of the scientific community during the Pandemic: The experience of the facility readiness-clinical case management team
Background: The COVID - 19 pandemic was an unprecedented challenge for the health care sector. In the hopes of gaining assistance from professional organizations, the Ethiopian Medical Association made a call to various professional organizations and with the MOH created various advisory teams that could provide guidance in terms of various aspects. The facility readiness and clinical case management team was established in March 2020 and worked together until July 2020.
Objectives: To highlight the role of scientific groups in advising the ministry of health during the COVID - 19 pandemic and to share lessons learned from working as a multidisciplinary team.
Methods: The implementation of the team was from March 2020 to July 2020, with twelve members from various professional organizations within the country and from the Diaspora. Communication was done through virtual meetings, which were held once or twice a week as deemed necessary, and multiple group emails were sent out. The team undertook tasks assigned to them by the MOH and the team leader provided feedback.
Results: During the five-month period, from March 2020 to July 2020 the team generated guidelines, assisted the MOH in making scientific recommendations, revised the second national guideline on COVID - 19 management and they also revised the EMSA handbook on public health measures and COVID - 19 management.
Conclusion: This research has found that involving professionals from different professional organizations as advisors to the MOH increases the quality of recommendations that the ministry makes, and it is hoped that such collaborations will continue even after the pandemic has passed and that professional organizations will be given a voice within the MOH so that they can assist in developing policies and guidelines. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev: 2021:35 (SI-4): 00-00]
Key words: COVID-19, Ethiopia, scientific community, professional organizations, ministry of health, and Ethiopian Medical Association