December 3, 2021 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Minister of Health of Djibouti yesterday closed the High-level Regional Experts Meeting on Health for Refugees, Returnees and Host Communities in the IGAD Region organised by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
This three-day meeting brought together representatives from ÍGAD member countries ministries of Health, from National Refugee commissions/agencies, National Consultative Mechanisms (NCM) Focal persons or coordinators, and representative from the ministries of Foreign Affairs.
During the three-day meeting, participants:
- Provided updates about Nairobi process including health efforts in IGAD member states;
- Discussed the recommendations of refugee assessment report;
- Identified refugee Health priority interventions; and
- Developed a Plan of Action for refugee health, returnees and host communities to be endorsed by Ministers of Health and Ministers in Charge of Refugees.
In his closing remarks, the Minister said his conviction that the meeting had enabled “to identify priority actions to achieve common objectives and that the full and effective integration of refugee populations into the health systems of our respective countries."
In her opening remarks on day one, the Director of Health and Social Development Division at IGAD “from the onset thanked “all delegates from Member States, GIZ, the European Union and UNHCR who took their time for the support and collaboration of the process for Nairobi Declaration and plan of action and efforts to organize this important regional meeting.
“Member states mandated IGAD Secretariat to operationalise, follow-up and monitor the implementation of the commitments of Nairobi Action Plan in collaboration with UNHCR, other development and operational partners, the private sector, civil society organizations, youth and women groups among others”, she continued.
The Secretary General of the Ministry of Health of Djibouti who did officially inaugurate the meeting three days ago, Dr Salah Banoita, declared his hope that at the end of the workshop, decision-makers and experts from IGAD countries translate the ambitions of the Nairobi Declaration on refugees into inclusive activities so that our health systems allow better care for refugees, and thus help mitigate the risks posed by diseases, in particular communicable diseases, on refugees and host populations”.
The outcome of the meeting will be a draft Plan of Action for Refugee Health, Returnees and Host Communities based on the identified priority health interventions and areas.
This report will the basis for the discussion to develop Health plan of action and draw the commitment for a declaration on health for refugees, returnees and host communities in-line with Nairobi declaration.
IGAD secretariat commissioned a regional assessment in all member states to explore the current state on the implementation of health thematic area in line with the provisions of the Nairobi Declaration for Refugees, IDPs, Returnees, Migrants, Cross Border Mobile Populations and Host Communities. The assessment aimed at identifying gaps and bottlenecks, existing opportunities and to generate recommendations for improvement and long term integration.