Monday, Mar 19, 2018

01-08-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), inaugurated the 3rd Meeting of Heads of National Medicine Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) at a session presided over by Dr. Eshetu Kebede from the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, and in the presence of the Reproductive Maternal Child Health Coordinator-IGAD, Dr. Fatuma Adan, Dr Paul Mainuka of the World Health Organization (WHO)-Addis Ababa, and Dr Apollo Muhairwe of the World Bank-Uganda.

IGAD has embarked on developing a proposal aimed at improving access and availability of medicines through harmonization of regulatory systems, guidelines and processes among IGAD-NMRA’s in line with the Addis Ababa Call for Action of August 2015 and Khartoum Declaration of April 2016. Regulatory harmonization will achieve good control of pharmaceutical standards without impeding or obstructing the movement of pharmaceutical products within the region.

This 3rd Meeting of Heads of National Medicine Regulatory Authorities thus focuses on approving the IGAD Medicine Regulatory Harmonization (IGAD-MRH) Programme Proposal (to be submitted to potential development partners on August 3rd in Addis Ababa). It is also an opportunity for participants to validate and endorse the establishment of governance structure for the IGAD MRH Programme as well as the Terms of Reference of the IGAD MRH Expert Committees.

Dr. Esheteu Kebede, speaking for the Minister of Health of Ethiopia, noted that “the global illicit trade of fraudulent, sub-standard and otherwise dangerous medicines” was getting “a major regional challenge with its associated health problems” for the populations. He thus called, once again, on “international partners for perceived assistance on this delicate regional initiative”.

Dr Fatuma Adan, speaking on behalf of the Acting Director of Health & Social Development for IGAD Executive Secretary, highlighted, exception made of Kenya and Uganda which benefit from an East African Community MRH Project, the deficiency of regional support to IGAD Member States NMRAs due to lack of funds. She nevertheless pointed out to the fact that IGAD, with support from WHO and the World Bank, IGAD has come a long with the MRH Project Proposal being reviewed and adopted during these two-day long meeting.

Dr Mainuka declared that he was confident that the regional project proposal being discussed will “address the regulatory challenges, the proposed strategies and will further provide the right solutions”.

Dr Apollo lauded IGAD for the “development of the IGAD MRH Dashboard which enables sharing of publically available information on medicines in the region”. “NMRAs can use the platform to conduct a number of activities including information on status of registration of medicinal products”, he said.

The African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Initiative has achieved a considerable harmonisation in several Regional Economic Communities on the African continent. However, there has been no harmonization initiative in the IGAD region so far. Currently, there is no funding to support medicine regulatory harmonization initiative in IGAD region; thus, the need to establish a structure and support this collaborative initiative in IGAD region. It is in this respect that IGAD called on a Donors Sensatisation Meeting to be held on August 3rd in Addis Ababa.

21-07-2017, Geneva (Switzerland): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on development (IGAD), H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, accompanied by an IGAD team, visited the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom, on July 21st in Geneva.

Amb Maalim congratulated Dr Tedros for his recent election as the Director-General of WHO and expressed heartfelt happiness from the whole IGAD family in this matter.
Furthermore, Amb Mahboub assured Dr Tedros of IGAD commitment to work closely with WHO for the advancement of the healthcare in the IGAD region.

20-07-2017, Geneva (Switzerland): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on development (IGAD), H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, held discussions with the Chief Executive Officer of Roll Back Malaria, Dr. Kest, in Geneva on July 20th.

Amb Maalim and the members of the IGAD delegation briefed Dr Kest and his management team members about the current health related initiatives at IGAD, including the underway HIV, TB and malaria strategy. The two parties discussed the potential areas of collaboration in this matter and other related issues.

Dr Kest highlighted that a regional approach to the issue of malaria was needed and that it was high time to bring malaria to the top of the regional agenda. He further mentioned that IGAD had a key role to play in provoking the political commitment of Member States. He finally stated the high interest of his organization to work in fruitful partnership with IGAD.


The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the sub recipient of the IGAD GF Regional TB-HIV grant for Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda. The grant agreement was signed between IGAD and UNHCR on 17 July 2017 in Geneva. It is a US$ 2,804,563 grant for 21 months which will be implemented in prioritized 13 refugee camps and settlements aimed at improving the availability and utilization of HIV and TB services through complementing existing UNHCR fund programs. On the behalf of UNHCR, Rosella Pagliuchi-Lor, Director Division of External Relation signed the PR-SR grant agreement and expressed her appreciation to IGAD for having the partnership and supporting TB-HIV programs in refugee camps in the region.

Following the signing of the grant agreement, His excellency, Amb(Eng) Mahboub discussed with Mr George Okoth-Obbo, Assistance High commissioner, UNHCR and other UNHCR officials including the CCRF Director. His excellency, Amb Mahboub, the ES, IGAD, briefed the Assistance Commissioner, UNHCR and other Management team members about the Nairobi Action plan with focus on the progress since March 25 and upcoming process and events. The Assistance Commissioner highlights that IGAD is championing the CCRF and needs to maintain this momentum.

Both parties agreed to strengthen Institutional relationship, share of information on regularly basis, showcase the outcome of the March 2017 summit on the durable solutions to Somalia refugees and stepping up jointly to the South Sudan crisis.


17-07-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning opened the 1st Regional Experts Meeting on Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Initiative (MRHI) during an inauguration session chaired by Mr. Abdoulkader Walyei Fato from the Ethiopian Food, Medicine, and Healthcare Administration & Control Authority, and in the presence of the Reproductive Maternal Child Health Coordinator,Dr. Fatuma Adan, and Mr. Abraham Gebregiorgis of the World Health Organization (WHO) Geneva Office.

This two-day meeting is bringing together Experts and officials from IGAD Member States in charge of their respective National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA) whose mandate is to guarantee populations’ access to essential quality, safe, and efficacious medicines.

This 1st Experts Meeting is essentially aimed at reviewing and finalizing a draft project proposal for IGAD Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (IGAD-MRH) and establishing and IGAD Expert Committees for the Project.

Speaking on behalf of the Acting Director of the Health & Social Development Director for IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Fatuma noted that “the presence of unregulated Sub-standard, Falsified, and Counterfeit medicines circulating within IGAD member states” was “a serious public health threat which if not prevented and controlled, will undermine confidence in the public healthcare systems and programmes”. She highlighted that IGAD established the MRH Project with support from WHO and the World Bank despite the lack of proper funding within its Directorate.

Dr Fatuma reminded the audience that their inputs to the proposed draft project proposal were essential in view of submitting it the IGAD Heads of National Medicines Regulations Authorities (NMRAs) for ratification and approval in August 2017.

Mr. Gebregiorgis reassured the participants that “at global and regional level, WHO as the technical agency is supporting the regional economic communities medicine regulatory harmonization initiatives and in a broader level the NEPAD African Medicine Regulatory Harmonization”.

The Chair also his opening remarks before declaring the meeting officially open.
The expected meeting outcomes include:
• Draft IGAD-MRH Project Proposal;
• Draft One Year Project activities/work plan;
• Establishment of Expert Committees for IGAD-MRH project;
• Assessment meeting report and recommendations.

Related stories:


Latest IGAD Communiqué