Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team: Interview with Mike Endale

Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health. (@lia_tadesse/Twitter)

Tadias Magazine

By Liben Eabisa

Updated: April 9th, 2020

New York (TADIAS) — A network of technology professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora — known as the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team – has been assisting the Ethiopian Ministry of Health since the nation’s first Coronavirus case was confirmed on March 13th. The COVID-19 Response Team has since grown into an army of more than a thousand volunteers. Mike Endale, a software developer based in Washington, D.C., is the main person behind the launch of this project.

In a recent interview Mike told Tadias that the COVID-19 Response Team comprises of “software engineers, machine learning experts, doctors and engineers who are coming together to create capacity for the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.”

Mike describes their primary aim as assisting to gather, interpret and disseminate information in real time in a manner that’s helpful for public health officials as well as policy makers in order to make well-informed decisions that impacts the lives of millions of people.

“Basically there are methods to this madness,” Mike said. “You have to collect as much data as you can and you build some sort of model and you start testing it.”

To that end Mike noted that the Ethiopia COVID-19 Response Team is developing multiple technology tools to be used by the Ministry of Health although the group is not necessarily part of the government agency. Before their project was launched, Mike said, there was already a similar initiative underway within the Prime Minister’s office. “And we were quickly integrated into that team,” Mike told Tadias. “It’s been very collaborative so far.” He added: We are excited what this could mean and how it could be impactful.”

Below is an audio of my interview with Mike Endale.


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