May 3, 2022 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, on April 30 handed over three ambulances, one mobile laboratory and nitrile gloves to the Minister of Health of Ethiopia, Dr Lia Tadesse, with the Head of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia, Ambassador Roland Kobia, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)-Ethiopia, Ms Worknesh Mekonnen, in attendance.
This equipment is destined to support the Government of Ethiopia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ambulances were provided by the EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response programme. The ambulances donated include two standard ambulances and one advanced ambulance, which will be sent to the cross-border areas of Galafi, Metema and Moyale to improve the health response in these areas and support cross-border communities and vulnerable populations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
During this hand-over ceremony held at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in Addis Ababa, an MoU was signed between the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The signed MoU addresses the access to vaccine in general and the vaccination of COVID-19 vaccine for cross-border truck drivers in particular between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The MoU will facilitate an activity under the project to enable the vaccination of 10,500 commercial truck drivers and their secondary contacts along the Djibouti-Addis trade corridor.
An additional MoU was signed between the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, the University of Gondar, Jigjiga University and IGAD for research on surveillance and Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE) in cross-border areas. This will support IGAD’s research component under this project.
Also, IGAD entered into a medicines-testing & quality assurance agreement with the Food and Drug Authority as the Executive Secretary signed papers with the Minister of Health of Ethiopia. As part of this agreement, Ethiopia will be testing samples of hand sanitisers collected from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.