Saturday, Dec 16, 2017

29-11-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) resource mobilization event for the IGAD Regional Cancer Center of Excellence (RCCE) was hosted by H.E. Abdullah Alarjani, the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( KSA) to Ethiopia at his residence in the evening of the 28th November.

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(30-10-2017 - Addis Ababa) Experts from IGAD Member States are meeting in Addis Ababa to start the process developing the IGAD strategy on HIV, TB and Malaria. The strategy aims at providing integrated framework for regional cooperation and intervention inline with the four IGAD priority areas of Policy Development, Knowledge and Information Sharing, Capacity Building and Science and Technology.

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18-09-2017, Kampala (Uganda): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning inaugurated the Decision Making Point Meeting of the IGAD Regional Action through Action (RAD) Initiative in Kampala during an opening ceremony presided over by Dr Ahmed Hassan, Health Coordinator representing IGAD Executive Secretary, Dr. Allan Muruta, Assistant Commissioner, Disease Control-Ministry of Health of Uganda, Ms Andrea Long-Wagar, Senior Infectious Disease Advisor- United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Washington (DC), and Mr Pascal Mwele, Nairobi-based RAD Regional Programme Director-BroadReach.

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03-08-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) today convened a meeting to sensitize development partners on the need for the region to establish a regional Medicines Regulation & Harmonization (MRH) Programme. The Acting Director of Health & Social Development, Ms Fathia Alwan, co-chaired the inauguration session along with the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of Italy to Ethiopia and Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF), Giuseppe Coppola, with Dr Apollo Muhairwe of the World Bank-Uganda, and the Coordinator of the World Health Organisation’s Regulatory Systems Strengthening-Geneva, Dr. Michael Ward, at the high table.

This one-day meeting between IGAD development partners and Heads of National Medicine Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) from IGAD Member States follows the 3rd Meeting of the latter held on August 1st and 2nd and which was aimed at, among other items on the agenda, readying an MRH project proposal.

Thus, the goals of this Donor Sensitization Meeting were to:

  • Introduce the IGAD MRH initiative and results achieved so far;
  • Present the approved IGAD MRH project proposal – including the financial and technical support expected; and
  • Explore innovative ways and processes for resource mobilization.

Ms Fathia Alwan, in her opening remarks, linked the circulation of “Sub-standard and Falsified medical products and illegal trade in medicines in the region” to the movement of people. She also noted that “the presence of unregulated Sub-standard and Falsified medical products and illegal trade in medicines circulating within IGAD member states is a serious public health threat which must be prevented and controlled in order to spur confidence” before calling on the partners to support the initiative.

DCM Coppola informed the audience that the IGAD Partners Forum, that Italy was chairing, was made up of 27 states. He also acknowledged the other partners in attendance. “We welcome this initiative which is another key step to regional integration demonstrated by IGAD”, he said. He also added that IPF members will be duly informed an sensitized, while ways of mobilizing support will be considered.

Dr Apollo Muhairwe seized the opportunity to reiterate “that WHO will continue providing technical guidance and support to the IGAD MRH initiative, and also call upon AMRH partners; members of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) and other stakeholders to provide financial and technical support for the implementation of the proposal”.

Dr. Michael Ward highlighted that “the most challenging stage” was ahead. “Ensuring the continuity of the support from member states and mobilization of the financial support for the implementation of proposal are vital”, he said.

The meeting closed on a positive note with follow up pledges.
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Related story: IGAD SEEKS SUPPORT FOR THE FIRST EVER MEDICINES REGULATION REGIONAL INITIATIVE

01-08-2017, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), inaugurated the 3rd Meeting of Heads of National Medicine Regulatory Authorities (NMRAs) at a session presided over by Dr. Eshetu Kebede from the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, and in the presence of the Reproductive Maternal Child Health Coordinator-IGAD, Dr. Fatuma Adan, Dr Paul Mainuka of the World Health Organization (WHO)-Addis Ababa, and Dr Apollo Muhairwe of the World Bank-Uganda.

IGAD has embarked on developing a proposal aimed at improving access and availability of medicines through harmonization of regulatory systems, guidelines and processes among IGAD-NMRA’s in line with the Addis Ababa Call for Action of August 2015 and Khartoum Declaration of April 2016. Regulatory harmonization will achieve good control of pharmaceutical standards without impeding or obstructing the movement of pharmaceutical products within the region.

This 3rd Meeting of Heads of National Medicine Regulatory Authorities thus focuses on approving the IGAD Medicine Regulatory Harmonization (IGAD-MRH) Programme Proposal (to be submitted to potential development partners on August 3rd in Addis Ababa). It is also an opportunity for participants to validate and endorse the establishment of governance structure for the IGAD MRH Programme as well as the Terms of Reference of the IGAD MRH Expert Committees.

Dr. Esheteu Kebede, speaking for the Minister of Health of Ethiopia, noted that “the global illicit trade of fraudulent, sub-standard and otherwise dangerous medicines” was getting “a major regional challenge with its associated health problems” for the populations. He thus called, once again, on “international partners for perceived assistance on this delicate regional initiative”.

Dr Fatuma Adan, speaking on behalf of the Acting Director of Health & Social Development for IGAD Executive Secretary, highlighted, exception made of Kenya and Uganda which benefit from an East African Community MRH Project, the deficiency of regional support to IGAD Member States NMRAs due to lack of funds. She nevertheless pointed out to the fact that IGAD, with support from WHO and the World Bank, IGAD has come a long with the MRH Project Proposal being reviewed and adopted during these two-day long meeting.

Dr Mainuka declared that he was confident that the regional project proposal being discussed will “address the regulatory challenges, the proposed strategies and will further provide the right solutions”.

Dr Apollo lauded IGAD for the “development of the IGAD MRH Dashboard which enables sharing of publically available information on medicines in the region”. “NMRAs can use the platform to conduct a number of activities including information on status of registration of medicinal products”, he said.

The African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization Initiative has achieved a considerable harmonisation in several Regional Economic Communities on the African continent. However, there has been no harmonization initiative in the IGAD region so far. Currently, there is no funding to support medicine regulatory harmonization initiative in IGAD region; thus, the need to establish a structure and support this collaborative initiative in IGAD region. It is in this respect that IGAD called on a Donors Sensatisation Meeting to be held on August 3rd in Addis Ababa.
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