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February 21, 2024 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) with Global Fund (GF) Tuberculosis Grant conducted a regional annual performance review meeting of the 18 Months of the grant implementation status and achievements jointly together with stakeholders of IGAD member states.

The objective of the two – day joint review meeting is to review the implementation of the GF-IGAD TB grant over an 18-month period and to measure progress, the status of the programmed activities as well as the challenges encountered.

Speaking on behalf of Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), Executive Secretary of IGAD, Madam Fathia Alwan, Director for Health and Social Development Division, highlighted that the IGAD mandate in health and social development is to provide comprehensive guidance and to make significant contributions to the enhancement of health and social programs in the region, with a particular emphasis on refugees, migrants, and cross-border populations.

The Director further emphasized that the ongoing third grant, initiated on April 1, 2022, aims to bolster capacity for TB and HIV services in refugee camps, including cross-border health facilities, and foster improved cross-border collaboration among member states.

“I wish to reaffirm IGAD’s unwavering commitment to intensify efforts in scaling up cross-border health programs and bolstering regional coordination and collaboration for an enhanced health system in the region.” She added

Mr Ali Sallay, Country coordinating Mechanism of the Republic of Djibouti and representative of IGAD Chair underlined that the fight against TB in IGAD countries and around the world is a long-term challenge that requires wills, commitment and perseverance in all its forms.

In addition, he described that Monitoring the cross-border mobility of the population is also an important factor in ensuring adequate continuity of care and avoiding relapse and multidrug resistance.

“ This fight cannot be limited to the medical resources that we mobilize in terms of laboratory equipment, screening, and medical care, but it necessarily requires in-depth work of awareness and community engagement. “He also underscored.

In her opening  Remark W/ro Teyiba Hassen Director General  Refugee Returnees Service disclosed that the  18-month performance has been a good beginning to our collective resilience, adaptability and determination to make a lasting impact on the communities we serve.

Subsequently, Teyiba on her part mentioned that as part of the Global Fund IGAD Initiative, her country shared goal is to tackle tuberculosis comprehensively and collaboratively.

“Given the adverse impact of TB on productivity, I encourage each Member State to actively contribute, share experiences and provide constructive feedback for better performance in the years to come.” She stated

 The joint review meeting brought together participants from IGAD Members of Country Coordinating Mechanisms, MOH, Commission of refugee, RRS, KRCS, UNHCR regional office and Country office (Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda) and IGAD  Secretariat.

At the end, participants of the meeting reviewed the progress and performance of the 18 months of the grant and   preparedness for Year 3 grant implementation including reprogrammed component and disseminated the study results and facilitated the implementation of the recommendations integrated with the grant work plan.

During the presentation and discussion Dr Tsegaye  Legese  Senior Health Coordinator, IGAD,  said that with the involvement of MOH of IGAD member states, IGAD conducted HIV, TB and Malaria service availability and readiness in cross border health facilities adjacent to refugee camps.

Dr Tsegaye also explained that IGAD along with Sub recipients of the grant   conducted a rapid assessment on human rights and gender related barriers to TB services in Djibouti, Ethiopia and South Sudan in 2023.

Since 2016, IGAD, in partnership with UNHCR, the Kenya Red Cross Society, and Refugee and Returnee Service Ethiopia, has been steadfastly implementing Global Fund-supported TB-HIV grants in the refugee camps/settlements across the region.

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