Washington, DC, September 11, 2017 – Some 40 people gathered last week in Addis Ababa to celebrate the graduation of four dynamic and highly successful health systems strengthening initiatives managed by AIHA’s HIV/AIDS Twinning Center in support of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

AIHA staff from Ethiopia and our Washington, DC headquarters were joined by our partners and stakeholders at Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the September 7 ceremony, which showcased the accomplishments of the following health workforce development partnerships:

  • Addis Ababa University School of Medicine (2009-2016 in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2016-2017 direct support to AAU)
    Adult emergency medicine
  • Addis Ababa University School of Medicine and University of Wisconsin-Madison (2010-2017)
    Pediatric emergency medicine
  • St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College and University of Michigan (2013-2017)
    OB/GYN residency program

In addition, after 11 years in operation, AIHA concluded its Volunteer Healthcare Corps Ethiopian Diaspora Volunteer Program (EDVP), an innovative initiative that helped build institutional capacity to combat HIV/AIDS by recruiting health and allied professionals from the Ethiopian Diaspora for long-term volunteer placements at PEPFAR-supported organizations throughout the country, including finding and placing qualified instructors to teach at medical schools established through the Ministry of Health’s Medical Education Initiative.

“I would like to congratulate the AIHA Twinning Center on behalf of the Ethiopian People and the Federal Ministry of Health for the wonderful job that they have done to improve the healthcare system in Ethiopia,” Dr. Abraham Tariku, MNCH Coordinator at the Federal Ministry, told the group. Recounting a bible verse that says the body has many different parts, each with different functions, he said: “Just as these different parts work together to serve as one, likewise, we are all different yet work toward the same objective to serve the people.”

During the event, partners presented key outcomes achieved with AIHA support to expand access to quality HIV-related treatment, care, prevention, and support services across the country. They also discussed plans to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the initiatives implemented through their twinning partnerships. Several Ethiopian Diaspora volunteers also had the opportunity to share their experiences in providing technical assistance and capacity building to strengthen the country’s health system.

These projects were implemented through AIHA’s HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program, which is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They were funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Ethiopia in support of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).