Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

25 June 2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): Launching a five-day meeting this morning, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) took key steps to strengthening pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance systems for medicines marketed in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda; with specific attention to cross-border points.

 Four key outputs aimed at expanding access to quality-assured medicines in IGAD member states are expected by the close of the week:

  1. Establishment of a Regional Expert Working Group on Pharmacovigilance & Post-Marketing Surveillance.
  2. Recommendations for a regional cross-border pharmacovigilance system.
  3. Recommendations for implementation of a regional post-marketing surveillance strategy and related guidelines.
  4. A regional protocol for studying the prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines at selected IGAD cross-border sites, targeting products used in maternal & child health, family planning, tuberculosis, and HIV & AIDS programs.

 Participants in the meeting include representatives from medicines regulatory authorities in IGAD countries as well as technical assistance experts from the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program, which is financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by the United States Pharmacopeia. IGAD is partnering with the PQM program for technical support in recognition of its global experience in strengthening medicines quality assurance systems.

 The meeting is being chaired by Ato Yehelu Denekew, Director General of the Ethiopian Food, Medicines, and Healthcare Administration & Control Authority (EFMHACA). Inaugurating the proceedings this morning, Dr. Denekew emphasized that unregulated substandard and falsified medicines circulating in IGAD member states are, “…a serious public health threat which, if not prevented and controlled, will undermine confidence in public healthcare systems and programs.” He then added, “As chair of IGAD, Ethiopia supports efforts to study the prevalence of substandard and falsified medicines in cross-border areas. This will help the region develop necessary regulatory actions and interventions to control this problem.”

 Fatuma Adan, Senior Regional Program Coordinator in IGAD’s Health & Social Development Division, called on the participants to review and finalize draft terms of reference for a Regional Expert Working Group on Pharmacovigilance & Post-Marketing Surveillance and submit such to the heads of the National Medicines Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) for ratification and approval.

 Timothy Nwogu, PQM Principal Program Manager, remarked that approaching pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance from a regional perspective is more than a question of cooperation.  “IGAD is fostering harmonization, and moving towards work-sharing and principles of mutual reliance,” he specified.

 Paul Tanui of the New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and Appollo Muhairwe of the World Bank also spoke at the opening ceremony to express support for the initiative.

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24-06-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Gender Unit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today concluded a three-day training workshop on Gender & Development for staff that has not been given the opportunity to acquire the basic knowledge to utilize the IGAD existing technical documents to mainstream gender in their day-to-day activities.

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07-06-2018, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Health & Social Development Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning finalised discussions on a road map  towards the establishment of a Regional Migration Fund (RMF) aimed at supporting migrants, refugees, host communities in the IGAD region with members of a mission from the German Development Bank (KfW) led by Ms Stefanie Klappenbach (Senior Project Manager) and accompanied by Claudia Bürkin (Head of Division) and Andreas Holtkotte (Director Regional office). KfW, on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development assists IGAD to prepare the RMF and to propose it to the German government for its potential funding.

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18-04-2018, Tadjourah (Djibouti): The Minister of Interior of Djibouti, H.E. Mr. Hassan Omar Mohamed, this morning opened the National Consultation Workshop towards the Development of the IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Transhumance in the IGAD Region in Tadjourah (Djibouti), with the Acting Director of Health & Social Development Division of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development-Ms Fathia Alwan, the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Djibouti-H.E. Amb. Adam Kulach, the Prefect of Tadjourah District-H.E. Abdoulkader Mohamed Banoita, and the Representative of the UNHCR to Djibouti-Mr. Abdoulaye Bare’ at the high table.

 

This three-day workshop is aimed at getting inputs from national stakeholders and Experts on benefits and barriers to free movement of persons and Tanshumance; deriving National Recommendations towards the Provisions of the Protocol and Developing a Road Map for the Negotiation and adoption of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region.

 This National Consultative Workshop is bringing together national experts on migration and related themes as well as stakeholders from each of the Ministries and Authorities of Government, Civil Society Organizations, Academia, Private Sector and Media to contribute to effective migration governance.

 The Minister of Interior in his opening remarks expressed his satisfaction to see the national consultations on the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons brought to the Republic of Djibouti after five other IGAD Member States. He underlined that around 500 irregular migrants enter Djibouti every day as they are trying to cross over to the Arab Gulf States and put pressure on the local resources. “This is one of the reasons I am urging each and every participant to focus and consider the advantages and disadvantages in relation to the implementation of this Protocole”, he said.

 Ms Fathia Alwan highlighted that this concept of a free movement protocol also had other advantages “such as better sharing of water and pasture resources, or increased opportunities for access to basic social services, particularly for the many transhumant pastoralist populations and communities in outlying geographical areas”.

 She added that IGAD attached great importance to the observations and analysis from the national Experts in Djibouti, and throughout the consultations at other Member States, for the region to be endowed with a free movement of persons protocol that will create a secure and legal environment.

 Amb. Kulach reminded the audience that Djibouti was a transit country and that the national contribution to the Protocol was to be a significant one. He noted that implementation of free movement of persons was a challenge as much it presented opportunities for the economic growth in the region.

 Specific objectives of the National Consultative Workshop are:

  • To gather information on Benefits and Barriers to Free Movement of Persons in IGAD Region;
  • To generate national recommendations towards the Provisions of the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons in the IGAD Region.

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