U.S. Joins Ethiopia in Disease Fighting Partnership

US Department of State
International Information Programs

Washington File

12 December 2002

Text: U.S. Joins Ethiopia in Disease Fighting Partnership

(HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria are targeted) (550)
 
U.S. and Ethiopian government representatives signed an agreement
December 9 to coordinate efforts to help prevent and control HIV/AIDS
and other diseases. According to a December 10 press release from the
Department of Health and Human Services, the two nations will work in
partnership to prevent further HIV infection and to improve care and
support of HIV/AIDS patients.
 
The partnership will be further devoted to the development of an
improved health care system with greater capacity to counter disease.
 
HHS Deputy Secretary Claude A. Allen was in Ethiopia for the signing
of the agreement. Formalization of this partnership builds upon the
Bush administration's support for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria, according to the release. The U.S.
contribution to that fund is expected to reach $500 million by next
year.
 
Following is the text of the HHS agreement:
 
(begin text)
 
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
December 10, 2002
 
HHS ESTABLISHES HEALTH AGREEMENT WITH ETHIOPIA TO STRENGTHEN FIGHT
AGAINST INFECTIOUS DISEASES
 
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced Tuesday a new partnership
with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to coordinate efforts
to help prevent and control HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases in
the African nation.
 
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed Monday in Ethiopia by HHS Deputy
Secretary Claude A. Allen and Ethiopia's Minister of Health H. E. Dr.
Kebede Tadesse, formalizes cooperation between HHS' Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ethiopian Ministry of
Health to prevent HIV infection; improve care and support of HIV/AIDS
patients; and build capacity to address the national HIV/AIDS epidemic
through financial and technical assistance in partnership with
communities, government, national and international organizations.
 
"This new partnership is critical to help prevent the spread of
diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria," Secretary
Thompson said. "Together, these diseases claim about 6 million lives
each year across the globe. The leadership of Ethiopia has been
working to establish improved methods of care for their country's
people, and we welcome the opportunity to support their efforts."
 
CDC previously worked in Ethiopia to help develop capacity for rabies
vaccine production, investigating malaria in pregnancy, conducting
disease surveillance and assisting in disease eradication efforts.
Under the new agreement, additional plans are underway for several
activities.
 
Highlights include:
 
--Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission and related care and
treatment;
--Supporting voluntary HIV counseling and testing centers;
--Establishing a National AIDS Education and Training Center;
--Supporting comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment centers;
--Strengthening regional health bureaus and laboratories; and
--Improving evidence-based public health practice, service delivery
and strengthening operational research.
 
In addition to holding bilateral talks with Ethiopian health
officials, Deputy Secretary Allen will visit a voluntary HIV
counseling and testing center at Zewditu Hospital, tour a laboratory
under renovation at the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research
Institute, and inaugurate the National HIV/AIDS Resource Center in
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
 
Deputy Secretary Allen's visit builds upon the Bush administration's
strong support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and
Malaria. President Bush's fiscal year 2003 budget includes $100
million from HHS and $100 million from USAID to support the global
fund -- bringing the U.S. contribution to $500 million.
 
In total, the President's budget request for HHS in fiscal year 2003
for HIV/AIDS programs and activities totals $12.9 billion. Overall,
the Bush administration proposes spending more than $16 billion in
fiscal year 2003 to combat HIV/AIDS at home and abroad.
 
(end text)
 
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Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)