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Fighting Non-Communicable Diseases in Partnership

H.E. Mrs Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia, is the chair of the Ethiopian Cancer Control Committee. H.E. Mrs Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia, is the chair of the Ethiopian Cancer Control Committee.

Ethiopia launches national strategic action plan on non-communicable diseases and the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership

Ethiopia launched its National Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Strategy and the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Guideline on 11 February 2015 as part of the World Cancer Day commemoration. The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partnership to tackle deaths from cervical cancer in Ethiopia was simultaneously launched by Secretary Margaret Spellings, President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, together with H.E. Mrs Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia, and H.E. Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health.

The burden of non-communicable diseases is growing in Ethiopia. Cancer is already claiming more lives than HIV or Tuberculosis. However, although plans are underway to expand cancer treatment in the country, currently there is only one treatment centre located in Addis Ababa. “Cancer prevention and control is not beyond us. Everything is within our capacity,” Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu, Minister of Health said at the launch event underlining that a comprehensive approach to scaling up services is crucial for reaching all those in need of treatment. The new strategy will target NCDs with a multisectoral response involving all stakeholders. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) advocates universal health coverage as the key component of effective prevention and control of NCDs. “There is no substitute to leadership and commitment at national level,” Dr Pierre M’Pele-Kilebou, WHO Representative to Ethiopia, added during the panel discussion on the importance of multisectoral and intersectoral response and partnerships in mitigating NCDs. He emphasized that to be able to adequately respond to the growing threat of NCDs, partners must come together to coordinate their support in Ethiopia to implement the strategic action plan. Furthermore, Dr M'Pele-Kilebou underlined WHO’s continued commitment and its technical assistance to support the national efforts to address NCDs

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon cervical cancer engagement plan, which was launched at the same time, is a global health partnership founded by the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).  The partnership will build on existing healthcare programmes in Ethiopia to add interventions to prevent, screen for, and treat cervical cancer, which is the number-one cancer killer of women in sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbated by its connection with HIV.

For more information, please contact Dr Asmamew Bezabeh Workneh, Non-communicable diseases, WHO Ethiopia; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it OR Dr Israel Gebresselassie, Disease Prevention and Control, WHO Ethiopia; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photos: WHO Ethiopia/ Viivi Erkkila

 

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