28 March 2017

Ethiopia: U.S. Government Inaugurates New National Public Health Training Center

Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
(File photo).

The first state-of-the-art National Public Health Training Center, constructed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was formally inaugurated and handed over to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) today.

Chargè d'Affaires, Peter H. Vrooman was joined at the inauguration by State Minister of Health, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Dr. Kebede Worku, and CDC Director of the Center for Global Health (CGH) Dr. Rebecca Martin. In addition, representatives from EPHI, the Ministry of Health, the U.S. Embassy, and others attended the ceremony.

"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," said Mr. Vrooman.

The national public health training center was constructed at a cost of 150 million birr and will strengthen the development of Ethiopia's health care workforce at the national level.

According to a statement from the embassy, "The center will serve as a training and support hub for Ethiopia's national public health surveillance, research, and laboratory network, and will help to meet the growing demands for training in the areas of epidemiology, laboratory science, public health, and other fields that are severely lacking."

With a total floor area of more than 10,000 square meters, the multipurpose five-story building meets International Building Code (IBC) standards and features fully equipped conference rooms, an auditorium, and multimedia classrooms.

On her part, Dr. Rebecca remarked, "The center will serve as a training and support hub for Ethiopia's national public health surveillance, research, and laboratory network, and will help to meet the growing demands for training in the areas of epidemiology, laboratory science, public health, and other fields."

As the national center for the coordination of public health training, the center will provide a venue for other institutions including the Ministry of Health, universities, and international health organizations to bolster their collaborative engagement in the areas of research and training as part of ongoing efforts to prepare Ethiopia's national healthcare workforce to meet the needs of the population and to bolster the capacity to identify and prevent the spread of infectious disease, protecting the lives of Ethiopians and Americans alike.

"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," the statement from the embassy further said.

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.

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