U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia
At the “Workshop on Children with Cancer in Ethiopia: Improving Access, Survival, and Quality of Care”
Jimma University and The Aslan Project
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
(As prepared for delievery)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning to everyone! It is with great pleasure that I am here this morning, in such esteemed company, to help inaugurate this very important workshop. I would first like to give a special thanks to all the organizers for making this event happen. I would like to give a special thanks to Julie Broas of the Aslan Foundation for their hard work in making this happen. I would also like to thank and recognize the participation of First Lady Roman Tesfaye not only for being here today, but for her outstanding public service to promote health and empower women, two objectives very close to my heart. I would also like to thank Jimma University, and President Fikre Lemessa, for co-hosting this event, and of course the Ministry of Health and State Minister Kebede Worku, and the World Health Organization, Oleg Chestnov, for being here today and helping make this workshop take place
Supporting the development and strengthening of health care systems and improving the quality of health of Ethiopians has been and continues to be a major goal of the United States government in Ethiopia. Without a healthy population with access to health care, a country cannot achieve its short and long term goals. Without a heathy population a nation cannot grow economically, and families and individuals cannot have quality lives and pursue their true potential.
We recognize this, and are investing large sums in Ethiopia to help Ethiopia and its citizens achieve their health goals. The United States is very proud to cooperate with the Government of Ethiopia to expand and improve healthcare here, and I am very pleased that the Ministry of Health, one of our most important partners in Ethiopia, is here today. We are also proud to have a very important partnership with Jimma University, a university with which the United States has had a close relationship since Oklahoma State University helped establish it in 1952 as part of the Point Four program.
Today, the United States works with Jimma University in a number of areas. Through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative Program (known as PMI), the Agency for International Development (USAID) works funds research on the effectiveness of indoor residual pesticide spraying for malaria prevention and supports research on social and behavioral change communication to raise awareness about malaria prevention activities. USAID also works with the university to design the curriculum and training for on the job training program for clinical pharmacists, and Jimma University was one of the first institutions to initiate the training in 2012. As a result 200 pharmacists have already been already trained.
Through PEPFAR, USAID supports HIV testing, care and treatment services here, works to support highly vulnerable children and their families get access to HIV services, and provide economic strengthening activities by providing food support for people living with HIV. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also collaborating with Jimma University to strengthen and improve the quality of HIV/AIDS services in the country. CDC has supported the university strengthen its pre-service medical training program and has strengthened institutional capacity through partnerships in bio medical engineering, including with Rice University and the Volunteers Health Corps.
As you can see, the United States, Ethiopia and Jimma have a long and enduring partnership. Today, we are working together to help Ethiopians have access to better health care services. We can be proud of what we have achieved together and we look forward to future possibilities to work together.