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Sept. 16, 2019 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia today held a one-day Resource Mobilization Event and a panel discussion on the regional Cancer Initiative aimed at establishing an IGAD Regional Cancer Centre of Excellence (IGAD RCCE) in Addis Ababa.

The inauguration of the event was presided over the Minister of Health of Ethiopia, HE. Dr Amir Aman, in the presence of IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim, and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia, H.E. Dr Sami Abdulla, and Dr Melaku Game, Clinical Professor at Alberta University (USA) and Project Lead Expert for the IGAD Cancer Initiative at the high table

The Minister extended appreciation to the members of the IGAD Diaspora community ‘driving and supporting this Initiative’. He also acknowledged the interest shown and the funding provided by the partners, especially member countries of the IGAD Partners Forum.

‘The establishment of the will be instrumental in identifying and determining the means and mechanisms to mitigate the disease burden’, he said in substance.

‘This is a vital initiative that we have been working on during the 10 years, and which needs to translate into action for the benefit of the people in the region’, Amb. Maalim said. He continued that commitment was needed for the establishment of the IGAD RCCE ‘to give hope to the many citizens in need of treatment’.

This resource mobilisation event whose theme was Partnership to accelerate the fight against Cancer in the IGAD Region’ is aimed at:

  • Identifying and Soliciting the support required for the start up activities of the regional Cancer Initiative;
  • Conducting focused consultations with the Member States and the Development Partners in order to develop capacity of practionners;
  • Identifying the existing best practices in the region, and establishing Expert Working Groups on subject matter (EWGs) in the IGAD Member States; and
  • Drawing a clear path for the way forward for the Regional Cancer Initiative.

All Member States are represented by their senior Experts on the Cancer Prevention and Control Programs; Ambassadors from Members of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) were invited; Development Partners and donors based in Addis Ababa; high level dignitaries and officials from IGAD, the Ethiopian government and the diplomatic community attended the event; officials from international organizations were also in attendance.

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