Dr. Tedros recommends Ethiopia as a center for health research, development

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Addis Ababa, 20 February 2014 (WIC) - Dr. Tedros Adhanom met a delegation headed by Dr. Doylin Oluwole, executive director of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) program of the George W. Bush Presidential Institute on Wednesday (February 19).

The Institute was established by former U.S. President Bush and the PRRR program, designed and launched to save women from cervical and breast cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, is a public-private partnership initiative.

During the meeting, Dr. Oluwole who noted that women from the ages of 25–35 were now increasingly suffering from cervical cancer across the continent, said the PRRR was currently is active in three African countries and that she was in Ethiopia to see if a partnership with the government and other stakeholders could be established in order for it to start operations here.

Dr Oluwole expressed her belief that Ethiopia’s experience and exemplary track record in health service provision and strong political commitment could go a long way to achieve impressive results in reducing the number of women dying from cervical and breast cancers.

Dr. Tedros welcomed PRRR’s initiative and its desire to launch its services in Ethiopia. He said Ethiopia highly appreciated and deeply respected Former President George W. Bush for his commitment to significantly scaling down HIV prevalence in Africa and in Ethiopia through his PEPFAR initiative.

Dr. Tedros noted that close to 40,000 health service workers were now available to provide basic health services in Ethiopia and they were closely attached to the communities they served.

He pointed out this substantial resource that the government had built up over the years could serve as a major asset in fighting cancer through early detection and awareness creation.

He assured the delegation that the government’s political commitment still remained intact and he said that this made Ethiopia an ideal place for effective health sector initiatives of this kind.

Dr. Tedros also reminded the delegation, which included representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world’s biggest drug manufacturers, the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation, and the Ethiopian Cancer Society, that Ethiopia presented ample opportunities for pharmaceutical companies and researchers alike in terms of establishing medical research and development centers.