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AFENET, IGAD set to reinforce joint public health interventions

The commencement of field epidemiology training programs in Djibouti and Somalia by AFENET has been welcomed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). To this, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is in the final stages of being signed to reinforce joint public health interventions in the region. 

Partnership between IGAD, Health ministries and AFENET will enable scaling up capacity building of health workers of the national and subnational public health workforce to detect, investigate and respond to epidemics and other public health threats.

The IGAD Director of Health and Social Development, Ms. Fatia Alwana explained that the region is volatile, characterized with cross border movements involving refugees and migrants which calls for the strengthening of health ministries through different initiatives. According to Ms Alwana, the areas of HIV, COVID-19, Maternal and Child Health and Non Communicable Diseases among others, are of concern to IGAD. 

To this, Dr. Simon Antara, the Director of AFENET, expressed gratitude for IGAD’s leadership and support towards AFENET’s FETP establishment in the region. He noted that in building stronger and resilient public health systems and enhancing health workers with field epidemiology skills, AFENET is working to support the mandate of IGAD. 

From inception, IGAD has played a key role in the inception and establishment of the FETP programs in Somalia and Djibouti and also continued to facilitate the deployment of AFENET staff in Djibouti. ‘IGAD recognizes the role of partners in strengthening a strong work force and will continue advocating for the establishment of FETP in all IGAD countries’  said Ms Alwana.