Dec. 11, 2019 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Director of Health and Social Development of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-Ms Fathia A. Alwan, and the Health Director General of the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia-Dr. S. Tadesse, this morning inaugurated a cross border collaboration orientation meeting to establish inter-country referral mechanism among Member States.

 Participants to the meeting are:

  • Various actors from member states including National Tuberculosis managers, members of the national Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) and members and District Health Offices at the border areas;
  • Sub recipient stakeholders such as the UNHCR country offices from the region, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) and the Administration for Repatriation and Returnees Affairs of Ethiopia (ARRA); and
  • Refugee camps operations.

The overall objective of the meeting is to strengthen collaboration strategies across border areas through revitalisation of already existing and established cross border platforms while improving linkages between refugee health settings and cross border areas thanks to the grant received from the Global Fund.

Strengthening regional coordination and collaboration for effective HIV, TB and Malaria service delivery in the cross-border areas and refuge settings is among the priority focus of the IGAD HIV, TB and malaria strategic plan 2018-2025’, according to the Director of the Heath and Social Development Division at IGAD.

The Global Fund grant has a component for cross border collaboration, and which is aimed ‘at facilitating continuum of care across the border areas and improving of health collaboration through revitalising the coordination mechanism and having functional referral mechanisms’, Ms Fathia A. Alwan also said in her opening remarks.

By the end of the cross border collaboration and orientation meeting, participants would have agreed on:

  • The role and responsibilities of a coordination committee;
  • The operation modalities for the cross border collaboration;
  • A country plan for rolling out the cross border health collaboration;
  • A joint plan (pairing) and milestones/deliverables in line with project work plan; and
  • A validated Referral Form.

The grant from the Global Fund is implemented by IGAD as the principal recipient and UNHCR, ARRA, and KRCS as sub recipients through already identified sub-sub recipients in 52 refugee camps located in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda and cross border collaboration activities in all IGAD member countries.