July 24, 2022 (TOG WAJALEH, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in collaboration with the African Development Fund (ADF), launched a four-day Training of Trainers for medical staff members involved in the COVID-19 response in the cross-border town of Tog Wajaleh between Ethiopia and Somalia.
The objective of the training is to build the capacity of critical cross-border staff in the areas of prevention and treatment, laboratory diagnosis and surveillance, and data management.
Dr. Girum Hailu, the IGAD Regional Coordinator for the EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response Programme, said that the training of the health care workers is an essential component of fighting disease outbreaks and health emergencies. COVID-19 is still a challenge IGAD needs to continue tackling through protection measures and public health interventions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the new emerging threats need a multi-sectorial approach and collaboration with different stakeholders. The fight against COVID-19 and other emerging threats require collaboration and engagement at all levels; national, regional, zonal, cross border, and most importantly, the engagement of the community at the grass root level,” he added.
The regional COVID-19 Response Coordinator stressed that the health workforce, border agencies, and their workers are at the frontline to fight COVID-19 in cross-border areas and trade zones that are critical and need special attention for disease prevention and control.
“IGAD, through the COVID-19 Response Programme, will continue to support health system strengthening at cross borders and trade zones like Tog–Wajaleh,” Dr. Girum said.
Mr. Yohannis Dugasa, Director for Travel and Border Health, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, disclosed that cross-border sites like Tog-Wajaleh are at high risk for different public health threats due to the movement of populations and high trade activities.
“Therefore, to reduce the risk, concerted coordination efforts among border agencies and Health Authorities are crucial,” Mr. Yohannis added.
The Mayor of Tog-Wajale town from the Ethiopia border side, Mr. Muktar Muhamud Abdi, welcomed the participants and thanked IGAD for organising the training.
The outcomes of the IGAD Regional Training of Trainers on Togo –Wajaleh Cross border Area for the relevant border agencies on National COVID 19 standard operating procedures to improve their knowledge and practices based on the recent guidelines, manual, and directives which will enable them to provide quality of services.
The Training of Trainers in the Tog-Wajaleh cross-border area for the relevant border agencies on national COVID-19 standard operating procedures was initiated by IGAD in partnership with African Development Fund (ADF). IGAD has received a grant from the African Development Fund to finance COVID-19 pandemic cross-emergency assistance.