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June 14, 2023 (DIKHIL, Djibouti): The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Health data digitization project team has carried out a cross-border collaboration meeting in Dikhil, between Djibouti and Ethiopia cross – border, to strengthen disease surveillance, under the strategy for digitizing, sharing and protecting cross-border health data in the Member States.

The meeting was opened by the Deputy Prefect of Dikhil, Youssouf Ali Iyeh, the Chief Medical Officer of the Dikhil Health Region, Dr. Djama Moussa Wais and Mr. Edriss Dersa, expert in charge of the information system on the management of Health at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.

In his opening remarks the Deputy Prefect of Dikhil, Youssouf Ali Iyeh explained his country commitment to strengthen cross-border medical cooperation in order to prevent any epidemic transmission between the two countries.

He further emphasized that the usefulness of sharing health data in order to strengthen cross-border surveillance of COVID-19 and other epidemic diseases and to accelerate the digitization of health data in the region.

Mr. Edriss Dersa, expert in charge of the information system on the management of Health at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health on his part said that the meeting is important to establish cross-border communication and coordination mechanisms to enable rapid sharing of information at the local level, in accordance with regionally accepted data sharing and protection standards.

During the opening ceremony, the IGAD Health data digitization project team calls for increased cross-border collaboration between Djibouti and Ethiopia.  IGAD has a particular ambition for the Galafi Cross-Border Health Coordination Committee to carry out a whole range of activities starting with the harmonization of public health surveillance and control measures at the local cross-border level.

The IGAD Health data digitization project team with Djibouti and Ethiopia representatives made it possible to review the agenda of this cross-border committee supposed to coordinate surveillance and response activities to COVID-19 and other cross-border epidemic diseases such as tuberculosis. The committee will also have to plan vaccination activities that will involve all local stakeholders.

This project funded by the German Development Agency and the international cooperation of its acronym GIZ.

At the end, participants of the meeting agreed on the opportunity for officials to recall the context and the interest of cross-border collaboration to establish a Coordination Committee on Cross-Border Health between the Republic of Djibouti and Ethiopia.

They should also discuss the progress of public health collaboration projects between neighboring countries and with IGAD, the regional political and technical organization and other institutions such as WHO or UNICEF.

The cross-border committee will have an orientation and advisory role to enlighten actors and stakeholders on the scope and progress of joint health activities in cross-border areas.

More generally, the cross-border committee will monitor the sharing of health data in a simple, secure and transparent manner, and in compliance with human rights and the code of medical ethics.

IGAD press end

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