Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England visited Addis Ababa last week to meet Ebba Abate, Director General of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) to formally launch the International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening project.
Duncan was accompanied by Helen Tomkys, Head of Global Health Security Preparedness at the Department of Health and Social Care, and senior colleagues from PHE’s global health division. The event marked the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between EPHI and PHE, witnessed by Dr Alastair McPhail, British Ambassador to Ethiopia.
The IHR project aims to enhance global health security by encouraging compliance with the IHR, including specifically working with the governments of Nigeria, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Myanmar.
PHE’s IHR strengthening activity in Ethiopia includes training on emergency preparedness, resilience and response, work to support the establishment of a national poisons and toxicology unit, and training on disease surveillance and improving laboratory diagnostic capacity.
Duncan observed some of these activities in action during his visit, including training on chemicals and poisons for laboratory staff at St. Peter’s Hospital, an After-Action Review workshop and training on disease surveillance.
Duncan also met with Dr John Nkengasong, Director General of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), took part in a discussion on the role of National Public Health Institutes in health security, and met with colleagues from the US CDC and the World Health Organization to discuss common areas of interest and future partnership working.
|Dr Ebba Abate and Duncan Selbie signing the MoU at the IHR Strengthening project launch event in Addis Ababa, 5 November 2019
|EPHI microbiologists explaining to Duncan Selbie how to identify enteric bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae following training provided by NIS to improve diagnosis of enteric infections