Dr. Filimona Bisrat, CGPP Ethiopia Secretariat and Senior Regional Technical Advisor

Secretariat Host Organization/ Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCRDA)

Programmatic Focus/ Reaches underserved rural, pastoralist and semi-pastoralist areas to facilitate opportunities to vaccinate and for case search and reporting to maintain acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) surveillance quality. In 2019, CGPP Ethiopia began integrating community-based surveillance for five priority zoonotic diseases – Rabies, Anthrax, Brucellosis, Leptospirosis and Echinococcosis -under USAID’s Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).

CGPP Implementation Sites/ 85 border districts, or woredas, across the 5 regions of Gambella (13 woredas), SNNP (13 woredas), Oromia (11 woredas), Somali (28 woredas) and Benshangul-Gumuz (20 woredas). The project covers 6.1 million people, or 10 percent of the country’s population.

CGPP Implementing Partners/ five international PVOs (Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children, World Vision, International Rescue Committee and Amref Health Africa), and four local NGOs (Pastoralist Concern, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and Organization for Welfare and Development in Action.)

In November 2001, CGPP Ethiopia began activities to reach the hard-to-reach communities with vaccination services and surveillance. Ethiopia is a country at high risk for importation from neighboring conflict-affected Somalia and South Sudan. The last case of wild polio virus was recorded in January 2014.  Rugged terrain, scattered population settlements, weak health service systems, limited participation of key community members in planning of vaccination activities, and porous borders with polio-endemic areas pose the greatest challenges to control of polio transmission in Ethiopia.  These barriers result in low community awareness about polio vaccination and AFP surveillance; resistance to the polio vaccine is very low.

Ongoing ethnic and tribal conflict in the areas of Somali, Benshangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Oromia regions resulted in the displacement of more than 1 million persons in 2018, impeded project staff movement and impacted project implementation. Another major concern has been the poor access to and the quality of health care, particularly for pastoralist populations and refugees crossing into the country to escape conflict. Moreover, there are significant disparities found across project regions, but all share several features: difficult geographies, weak health infrastructures (with low technical and managerial capacities), bureaucratic systems with little accountability, low routine immunization coverage, poor surveillance systems, unrestricted population movement, and vulnerable populations scattered along the hard-to-reach borders.

The CGPP in Ethiopia has been a pioneer in the use of community volunteers for immunization promotion and community-based surveillance activities. In Ethiopia, more than 12,000 CGPP Community Volunteers (CVs) provide crucial support to increase the coverage of polio and other routine immunizations as well as surveillance of polio, measles and tetanus in hard-to-reach, high-risk, pastoralist and semi-pastoralist regions, which are sparsely populated. CVs, Health Development Army Leaders (HDALs) and Health Extension Workers (HEWs) actively search and report on cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis, measles and neonatal tetanus and tracked newborns from early pregnancy. They regularly conduct house-to-house health education sessions and social mobilization activities during routine and supplementary immunization campaigns. Increasing the involvement of traditional and religious leaders is among several strategies employed by CGPP Ethiopia to improve community acceptance of the polio vaccine rather than seeking traditional healers for the treatment of vaccine-preventable diseases.


CGPP 2019_Ethiopia


Dr. Filimona Bisrat, Director

Legesse Kidanne, Deputy Director

Muluken Asres, Senior Program Officer 

Asrat Asress, Program Officer

Tenager Tadesse, M & E Officer

Bethelehem Asegedew, Communication Officer 

Solomon H/Selassie, Senior Finance Officer

Bahiru Getachew, Finance Officer

Sophia Yoseph, Administrative & Liaison Officer


Newsletter April – June 2019

Newsletter January – March 2019

Newsletter April – June 2018

Newsletter October 2017 – March 2018

View past newsletters here


Bisrat, F. Endeavors to improve immunization uptake in Ethiopia [Editorial]. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 33(Special issue).

Tadesse, T., Gelaw, B., Haile, Y., Bisrat, F., Kidanne, L., Asres, M., Asress, A., Asegdew, B. & Tessema F. (2019) Immunization service availability and readiness in primary health care in pastoral and semi-pastoral CGPP Ethiopia implementation districtsThe Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 33(Special issue).

Asres, M., Tessema, F. (2019) Contribution of plastic bags to the retention of child immunization cards in Gambella Region and Assosa Zone, Benishangul-Gumuz Region, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 33(Special issue).

Bisrat, F., Abdissa, S., Asres, M., Tadesse, T., Kidanne, L., Asegdew, B., Zeleke, S., Asress, A., Tessema, F. (2019) Healthcare workers readiness immunization services at primary health care units in pastoral and semi-pastoral regions in Ethiopia: CORE Group Polio Project implementation areas. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 33(Special issue).

Kidanne, L., Solomon, M., Bisrat, F., Asres, M., Tadesse, T.,  Asress, A.,  Asegdew, B., Zeleke, S., Tessema, F. (2019) Child vaccination timing intervals and missed opportunities in pastoral and semi-pastoral areas in Ethiopia . The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 33(Special issue).

Asres, M., Wachiso, A., Bisrat, F., Tadesse, T., Kidanne, L., Asegdew, B., Asress, A., Tessema, F. (2019) Immunization service providers’ knowledge, attitude and practice in primary health care units in pastoral and semi-pastoral areas of Ethiopia: CORE Group Polio Project. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 33(Special issue).


Enhancing AFP Surveillances in Ethiopia Somali Region: Some Good Practices in the Implementation of BMGF Supported Project

AFP Case Detection and Status of Surveillance in Pastoralist and Semi-pastoralist Communities of CORE Group Polio Project Implementation Districts (woredas) in Ethiopia

Newborn Tracking for Polio birth dose vaccination in Pastoralist and Semi-pastoralist CORE Group Polio Project Implementation Districts (Woredas) in Ethiopia

CGPP Ethiopia 5 years summary report 2013 – 2017

CGPP Ethiopia Baseline Survey Report

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