Transforming Lives

Every day, all over the world, USAID brings peace to those who endure violence, health to those who struggle with sickness, and prosperity to those who live in poverty. It is these individuals — these uncounted thousands of lives — that are the true measure of USAID’s successes and the true face of USAID's programs.

Elfinesh Duko, a health extension worker in Ethiopia, realizes she could not be as successful educating her community about health if it weren't for the volunteers that she trains, thanks to crucial volunteertraining knowledge provided by a USAID-supported health program.

"I work in a large kebele (ward) with more than 170 households. If it were not for the community volunteers, I would not be able to reach all the houses," said Duko, who covers the Sore Homba Health Post in Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region.

Segenet Wendawork was five years old when her mother died. Her father soon remarried and moved away with his new wife. Segenet remained with her grandmother until she was nine, when her grandmother passed away. She then went to live with her aunt, who kept her home from school to help with chores. When the family became abusive and her uncle began sexually harassing her, Segenet left and moved in with a friend.

For 20-year-old Chaltu Wata and 22-year old Aster Roba, life is anything but easy. The cousins have spent the past several years in a rural area where they initially faced resistance from the local community for trying to teach them healthier ways. They biked or walked for miles each day to visit individual households in order to teach them about sanitation, malaria, immunization, family planning, and the importance of delivering babies at a health facility. Even though they had been born and raised in this area, people from their community often rebuffed or snubbed them.

For five days beginning on September 17, 2012, approximately 500 scouts from two city administrations and the nine different regions of Ethiopia gathered at the Defense Engineering College in Debre Zeit for the 4th Ethiopian National Scout Jamboree. This is the first jamboree (an international term used to describe a large gathering of scouts) since 1966!

Malaria is a major public health problem in Ethiopia, with 75 percent of the over 80 million inhabitants at risk for malaria epidemics. Although significant progress has been observed in scaling up malaria control interventions over the past few years, limited efforts have been invested in using research results to inform national malaria policy and the implementation of malaria control. Currently, considerable malaria research is being conducted by in-country stakeholders, including the Government of Ethiopia (e.g.

Accurately quantifying antimalarial commodity requirements in Ethiopia is a challenge for multiple reasons. Transmission of malaria is highly variable and characterized by frequent and often large-scale epidemics. In addition, both artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have a short shelf life. At the district level, poor quantification has often resulted in either an over-supply of antimalarial drugs and diagnostic kits and their subsequent expiry, or shortages and stockouts of these commodities.

PMI/Ethiopia, in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Health Nutrition Research Institute, and the Oromia Regional Health Bureau, has been implementing malaria laboratory diagnosis and monitoring activities for the last three years. This has included developing guidelines and training materials for malaria laboratory diagnosis, training clinical and laboratory health professionals in malaria laboratory diagnosis, and supporting quality assurance/quality control systems.

In October 2012, a dozen ONE Moms visited Ethiopia. During their visit, the moms visited many sites including farms, schools and health clinics sponsored by a number of governmental, international and non profit organizations that are having a transformational impact on the lives of  women, their families and their communities.  

Most Americans have plenty of water to drink, bathe and flush the toilet, wash clothes and cars, water the lawn and fill the community pool. Even when tap water is safe to drink we often buy bottled water. Competition for oil, alternatives to fossil fuel, and the price of gasoline may be foremost on our mind. But competition for water may in fact be a greater challenge in the 21st century. As developing nations turn to hydro and solar power to fuel their energy and electric power needs, water will be the “new oil” for many nations around the world.

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Last updated: March 28, 2014