Dr Tedros Adhanom, World Health Organization Director General (DG) started his official visit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 08 February 2019. The purpose of DG’s visit to Ethiopia was to see the health system in Ethiopia, to attend the 32nd African Union summit and to participate the first international Food Safety workshop to be held from 12-13, 2019.
Dr Tedros, in his first day of visit had a high level meetings and met with H.E. Dr Amir Aman, Minister of Health of Ethiopia at the Ministry of Health compound where the DG used to be a Minister some years back and had a curtesy call to H.E. Mrs. Sahle-work Zewde, president of Ethiopia at the president’s office. He discussed important public health issues including maternal and child health, non-communicable and communicable diseases and WHO’s support at the country level.
Dr Tedros also paid a visit to health facilities in Addis Ababa including Janmeda health center, St. Peteros specialized Hospital as well as a patient’s home to see how health care service is linked to the community specially for a bed ridden patients using a pilot program led by ‘Family health Team’. Dr Tedros during his visit discussed with health workers in Janmeda Health center how the family health team which composed of medical doctor,nurse and other health profession groups patients in main three categories based on their age, case status and socio-economic status in order to prioritize and provide house to house care including palliative care. He also discussed with the health workers on the overall health systems in the facilities.
During the press conference held with different media following the site visit the DG said that “Ethiopia has a strong foundation in primary health care across the country. Going forward, it needs to focus more on strengthening basic health services and preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases." Dr Tedros added that "WHO will continue to support Ethiopia through our country office and our key global health programmes." He also mentioned that “Alcohol and tobacco use, lack of physical activity, poor diet and other similar factors contribute to the high burden of NCDs and I commend the government of Ethiopia for implementing new regulations recently on controlling tobacco use, which contribute to preventing and reducing incidence of NCDs."
The Director’s General visit will continue till 13 February 2019.