18-09-2017, Kampala (Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning inaugurated the Decision Making Point Meeting of the IGAD Regional Action through Action (RAD) Initiative in Kampala during an opening ceremony presided over by Dr Ahmed Hassan, Health Coordinator representing IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Allan Muruta, Assistant Commissioner, Disease Control-Ministry of Health of Uganda, Ms Andrea Long-Wagar, Senior Infectious Disease Advisor- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Washington (DC), and Mr Pascal Mwele, Nairobi-based RAD Regional Programme Director-BroadReach.

Participants are drawn from IGAD Member States Ministries of Health and statistics institutions, as well as Academia, along with professionals from two other partner institutions that are part of the RAD Consortium: Duke University and Jembi Health Systems.

This three-day meeting is an opportunity for IGAD member countries to deliberate and agree on prioritised intervention areas, possible solutions, and activities in order to tackle the identified needs for the IGAD RAD Project.

The RAD Initiative aims at strengthening the capacity of member states to utilize the existing data systems, promote synergies across sectors, and hence improve the use of health data for decision-making in the IGAD region.

Through the Regional Action through Data (RAD) Project, IGAD plans to enhance its capacity to support its member countries for better regional data analytics and forecasts on health for improved decision making. It will also support Member States provide continuity of care for cross-border populations.

For a start, the Initiative will contribute to strengthening of data systems for Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (RMNCH) and the efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality as the top priority as decided upon by all the IGAD Member States. The focus sites for this intervention will be along specific borders within the region, with the aim to ensuring continuity of care for the patients from the populations targeted.

At the end of the meeting, participants are expected to establish a Steering Committee for IGAD RAD Initiative, validate and prioritize the needs identified for the IGAD-RAD initiative; agree on the technological solutions to the prioritised and identified needs; and come up a Year Two work plan.

RAD Consortium is made up of IGAD, the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), BroadReach, Jembi Health Systems, and is financially supported by USAID Africa Bureau.