Remarks by Peter Vrooman at the inauguration ceremony of the National Public Health Training Center at Ethiopian Public Health Institue

Remarks by
Peter Vrooman
Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy
at the inauguration ceremony of the National Public Health
Training Center at Ethiopian Public Health Institute
March 28, 2017

(As prepared for delivery)

I am honored and delighted to be here with you all today to inaugurate this newly constructed National Public Health training center. This state-of-the-art facility is yet another milestone of the commitment to the long established collaboration between the United States and the government and people of Ethiopia in strengthening the capacity and infrastructure of Ethiopia’s national health care system.

The United States government is proud to partner with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) strengthen Ethiopia’s health care system and increase its ability to halt the spread of infectious disease.

Serving as a training and support hub for Ethiopia’s national public health surveillance, research, and laboratory network, the newly constructed national training center will play a critical role in building a corps of health care professionals who can meet the country’s needs and support research that will lead to improved clinical care and outcomes.

This is truly a national training center, and it will bring together various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, universities, and international health organizations to collaborate on ways to meet today’s healthcare challenges and those of the future.

The construction of this new national training center is part of the U.S. Government’s long term commitment to strengthening infrastructure for HIV/AIDS and health systems in Ethiopia. Through CDC, the United States has provided financial and technical assistance to EPHI for more than 15 years, improving national, regional, and facility-based laboratories, and supporting programmatic and surveillance activities that have helped stem the spread of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and tuberculosis.

This new national training center is just the latest example of our cooperation on health. This compound also hosts other U.S. funded projects including the National HIV/AIDS Laboratory and the CDC-EPHI collaborative office, which will benefit from the capabilities offered in the new facility.

Now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Federal Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute their ongoing commitment to collaboration.  Indeed, the importance of cooperation in the area of public health goes far beyond Ethiopia itself.  We must work together to identify and address the threat of infectious disease, which knows no borders.

I would like to conclude by adding that while we are proud of this example of progress, it isn’t the building itself that matters, but our commitment to making the most of what these facilities offer to improve health care for the millions people who need it, with the understanding that a healthier Ethiopia will contribute to a healthier world.