6 December 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: The Federal Minister for Health of Ethiopia has called for policy makers and other stakeholders in the health sector to move with high speed to address the challenges of nomadic communities, as well as increase the volume of areas covered and the minimum quality standard of services provided.


Dr. Kesete-birhan Admasu was speaking at the closing of the four-day IGAD International Scientific Conference on Health in Addis Ababa that brought together decision and policy makers from IGAD Member States, representatives of development partners, research and academic institutions, as the civil society and the private sector.

“The world has been on a learning curve when it comes to issues relating to nomadic health for too long,” he pointed out, reiterating the need to move with high speed, if desirable achievements are to be made.

Speaking on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, the Director of Economic Cooperation and Social Development at the IGAD Secretariat, Mr. Elsadig Abdalla stated that the conference, the first of its kind in the region, had set the benchmark to be emulated and even surpassed by subsequent ones.

He said that health is a cross cutting development agenda that requires all sectors and stakeholders to work together to ensure a harmonized, coordinated, collaborative and effective response to disease burden, poverty, natural and man-made disasters and conflicts.

The IGAD Health and Social Development Program Manager, Ms. Fathia Alwan expressed her gratitude on the large number of Ministers for Health, scientists, researchers, practitioners and representatives of partner institutions who attended the conference.

“This is a clear testimony of the growing commitment on strengthening regional approach to health and social development challenges,” she stated, adding that the scientific inputs and reflections on innovative approaches would go a long way to sharpen the focus on health and social development in the region. “We are also re-energized by the Declaration of the IGAD Ministerial Committee on Health, which will give us new directions on the key priority areas for action.”

The Secretary General of the African Federation of Public Health Associations, Dr. Tewabech Bishaw thanked the IGAD Secretariat for collaboration with the federation to make the conference a success and allowing them to provide the technical lead.

“We are committed to work together to strengthen the national associations and partner with other regional organizations to promote public health,” she declared.

The next conference will be held in two years time.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Brazille Musumba | Communications and Media Advisor | IGAD Secretariat |

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