4 December 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: The Minister for Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Kesete-Birhan Admasu officially opened the 1st IGAD International Scientific Conference on Health yesterday at the UNECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa.

In his statement, the Minister urged the participants drawn from IGAD member states, academic and research institutions, as well as the civil society and development partners to focus their energies on national and regional efforts that would eradicate both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

“We have plenty of best practices and experiences in our region that we ought to share and exchange among ourselves,” he pointed out, adding that the people and governments of the region need to own the development programs and the processes instead of depending too much on ‘outsiders’.

The Minister who is also the Chair of the IGAD Ministerial Committee on Health called for the development of scorecards to monitor and evaluate the activities in the health sector. This, he said, would ensure accountability and bring about desired progress.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony included the IGAD Executive Secretary, the Ministers for Health from Djibouti, Sudan and Uganda, as well as representatives of the IGAD Partners’ Forum, the Government of Canada, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Federation of Public Health Associations.

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