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3rd Global Ethiopian Diaspora Conference on Health Care and Medical Education Kicks off in Arlington, Virginia!! and Ethiopian Health Sector Reaps Acclaim at UN General Assembly!!!

Launched under the catch word," Coming Together: The World Bank and the Ethiopian Diaspora Partnership to help Medical Education in Ethiopia, the half-day Confab, organized, hosted  and sponsored under the auspices of the Kentucky based, People to People /P2P/ an NGO of the Ethiopian Diaspora Medical Professional Group took place at the Sheraton National Hotel yesterday September 24, 2011.

In his opening remarks, Enawgaw Mehari, MD, Founder and President of P2P characterized that P2P is globally emerging as a bridge and network of the Ethiopian Diaspora committed and willing to give back to the Motherland.

He went on to emphasize that, the Ethiopian Diaspora embodies intense commitment and organic relationship that comes with a sense of deep closeness and belongingness to the homeland and underlined that its gratitude to Ethiopia can be translated through individual and collective sacrifice of time, skills and financial resources.

In order to tap into this potential  Dr.  Enawgaw,  re-iterated the need for the establishment of strong links between the Diaspora, International organizations, and the academia in Ethiopia and elsewhere. He capped his introductory remarks by declaring that P2P has the important role of serving as a bridge to bring these groups together.  

Ethiopian Minister of Health Dr. Tewodros Adhanom, who was the guest of honour on the event apprised the participants from the Medical Education and the health sector, drawn from North America, Europe, Ethiopia and the rest of the world, pertaining to the New Medical Education Initiative in Ethiopia.

In this regard the Minister hailed the unhampered readiness and determination of the Medical and health care professionals to augment their bounden share to make a real difference in the current Growth and Transformation Drive that Ethiopia and its people have anchored themselves on.

He brought to light the propitious investment climate that presently obtains in all spheres in the country, by particularly alluding to the Medical and Health areas where the input of the professionals could make an astounding difference by enabling them to primarily benefit themselves by partaking in the current promising development venture and drawing the satisfaction from professionally supporting their kin and kith at the same time.

The half-day confab also dealt at length on partnership projects and selected Diaspora projects and held a Recognition Ceremony, by recognizing Dr. Paulos Quana'a; former Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Addis Ababa University, as the winner for the award for "Life Time Achievement", Dr. Aklilu Azaj, Head of Emergency Medicine Department, Black Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa University as the winner of the award for "Rising Star", and the legendary  Ababa Tesfaye, Former Anchor of Children's TV program, Ethiopian Television, as the winner of the award for "SERVICE".

Present during the event laden occasion were Dr. Richard Cambridge, Advisor; African Diaspora Program, World Bank, Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-Ordinary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the US and other invited guests.

In a related development, International Development Leaders hailed Ethiopian Health Extension Program at the UN General Assembly last week. The Heads of the US and UK governments recognized the Ethiopian Health Extension Program as offering potentially 'game changing' lessons in the fight against international poverty.

During the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Raj Shah, head of USAID, and Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary for International Development, highlighted the Ethiopian Health Extension Program as bringing about a significant step towards achieving Millennium Development Goals /MDGs/.

 UK Secretary for International Development Andrew Mitchell, said” this project is making a real difference towards reducing poverty. We want to hold up to the world, so others can learn from these successes. It demonstrates that development buys results-it shows that through innovations we can deliver inspirational change to people's lives."

 At this fascinating event Dr. Tewodros Adhanom, Ethiopia's Health Minister, showed a short documentary video produced by  professionals from the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia depicting the hard work and the achievements thereof in the much avowed health extension program that has reaped Ethiopia an international acclaim and reputation.

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