10-07-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority in Development (IGAD) yesterday opened a Stakeholder Engagement and Orientation Workshop on Regional Action through Data (RAD) during a session chaired by the Minister of Health of Ethiopia, H.E Prof. Yifru Berhane, and in the presence of the Acting Director of the Health and Social Development Directorate-IGAD, Ms Fathia Alwan.
Delegates from IGAD Member States, the African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities, and Partners are in attendance of this two-day gathering that will close today.
It was in her opening remarks that Ms Alwan highlighted the purpose of the meeting in these words: “Our meeting today to provide you with information about the Regional Action through Data (RAD) Initiative and discuss and elaborate on challenges of data use and express the needs to address the problem of limited use of data for decision making and also express the commitment of IGAD Member States to support and collaborate to implement this important initiative.”
She also explained that the RAD Initiative is aimed at improving “the health outcomes in terms of saving lives and reduce mortality and morbidity of common health problems among the populations in the IGAD region”.
Ms Alwan noted that “an overwhelming amount of health care data exists, from local to regional levels, without an understanding of how it can be synthesized, analyzed and used to inform program planning, performance management, addressing bottlenecks, forecasting, or other mechanisms to bring change in health status of our population in the region”.
Prof. Berhane further elaborated that the Regional Action through Data (RAD) initiative was “a multi-organization consortium program that supports the use of data from multiple sources for evidence-based decision making and sharing of the information across borders for purpose of improving the health status of cross boarder population”.
Prof Berhane stressed the importance of working closely and sharing information “with neighbouring countries to prevent and control any cross-border health and health related issues”.
The IGAD RAD Initiative is funded by USAID.