Last 6 February 2018, U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor has officially opened a three-day regional U.S. Alumni Global Health Workshop at the Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The U.S. Alumni Global Health workshop, in partnership with the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, has brought together twenty two alumni of U.S.-government sponsored exchange programs from Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, and Tanzania, with the goal of sharing best practices for communicating public health information.
Through the workshop, participants were provided with tools to promote health-seeking behavior through the use of data and health communication strategies. It also supported the development of a community of State exchange alumni who are active in public health.
“When we fail to provide for the health of our citizens, we feel the pain beyond the effects of illness itself. We see the harm when children are unable to attend school. We count the cost to families when parents are unable to work. And we endure the lost opportunity of lives cut short, and of people marginalized or stigmatized by disease. You’re here because you understand these challenges and are already making a difference," Ambassador Rayner said in his opening remarks.
The Ambassador added, “Like you, the United States has long recognized the importance of a cooperative and multidisciplinary approach to tackling global health challenges. Agencies as diverse as USAID, the Centers for Disease Control, the Peace Corps, the Department of Defense, and the State Department’s Refugee Bureau are working from a variety of angles to improve the health of people in Africa and around the world.”
The US Department of State continue to host a number of exchange programs that offer a chance to share experiences with leaders in the health sector from around the world through programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship, African Fulbright Research Scholars, and International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
Upon completion of the exchange programs, the particpants become State Department Exchange Alumni and continue their work and to share what they learned in their home countries. The workshop is part of ongoing efforts to support U.S. Alumni by creating a platform for sharing their of experience and best practices in public health.