The 11th National TB Research Annual Conference (TRAC) is kicked off in Dire Dawa University

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Posted on: Mar 22,2016

Day 1

Opening Session

The conference was commenced by the moderator, Dr. Berhanu Seyoum; he welcomed the honorary guests namely: HE Dr. Kebede worku, and Ibrahim Usman, Dr. Christian Lienhard, WHO-GTB, and all participants. Along the way, Dr. Berhanu mentioned the relevance of the conference as combating of TB, with main theme of 'transforming TB response through Research and innovation''. He also introduced the overall schedule of the conference.  

Ato Ahmed Mohammed, the GLRA-country representative, made key note speech mentioning that TB is one of the public health problems in the country, despite the efforts made by the country and international partners. He says that GLRA is a long partner of the FMOH in combating of TB. He also mentioned the commitment made by GLRA to make TB no more public health problem of the country.

Following that, Dire Millennium Band and Dire Dawa Educational Bureau Youth Musical band, have entertained the participants with quite interesting cultural music; and with song which focused on the cause, transmission routes and prevention and controlling methods of TB.


Appreciating the song performed by the youth music band, Ramona M EL Hamzaoui, USAID/Ethiopia Deputy Mission Director, has made key note message, and she pointed out that FMOH has made success, despite existed challenge. She also noted that Ethiopia has made a good achievement in combating of TB. She claimed that as a result of coordinated effort, Ethiopia has reduced the burden of TB, thus, USAID will continue to support the government. At last, she acknowledged FOMH, the two universities, DD administration, and wished success for the conference.

Key note address is also made by CDC-Care and Treatment branch Chief Dr. Abubekar Bedri; he remembered that TB is still one of the top leading health problems in the Ethiopia. He told to the participant that CDC- Atlanta and CDC- Ethiopia in collaboration with FMOH and Dire Dawa administration, has a project called TB bases (early case detection) and this project also includes period screening of health personnel, strength program monitoring and evaluation and HMIS in the region.

WHO-Country representative, Dr. Paul Mainuka's delegate, declared that WHO team has worked very closely with FMOH to combat TB, for this conference schedules at critical time when the country comes to commitment to end TB. Remembering that Ethiopia is one of the countries which achieved MDG goals, she announced that still TB is a killer in the country.  

On behalf of DD University, Dr. Yitbarek, welcomes the honorary guests and all the participants; he mentioned that DD University is one of the young higher institutions envisioned to be the premium choice in the nation, competent in Africa and internationally accredited university of science and technology by 2025.

He also claimed that it is evident that without research and innovation approaches, it is so difficult to address the prevailing problems of the country. In this context, Dire Dawa University had already taken a step forward position to support the health sector with the provision of quality health services and qualified health professionals.  

Haramaya University, president, Prof Chemeda Finensa, in his part says that his university has been working in different activities of the community, particularly College of health and Medical Sciences has engaged in training of undergraduate and post graduate programs in health fields and conduct research in TB. The president urged the participants to work hand-in-glove to reduce TB burden and make the environment more conducive.


Key note speech by TRAC chair, Dr. Alemseged Abdisa, Dr Shitaye Alemu’s delegate, was forwarded that TRAC was established in 2001 with approval of FMOH. Dr. Alemseged mentioned that most researches were conducted by individual without consideration of the national TB problem, for the annual National Conference is aimed to bring researchers and health programmers together and work on TB.

His Excellency Dr. Kebede Worku, state minister of MOH, also welcomed guests and all the participants. He acknowledged the Health professionals’ role in prevention of diseases and health promotion. He further explained that among 30 top higher TB burden countries, Ethiopia is one of them; due to this reason, we envisioned a TB free Ethiopia by 2035. And that is why a great concern is given for research as it is one of the priority areas in TB prevention and control programs.   

Dire Dawa Health Bureau Head, Dr. Muluken Argaw, on his part, welcomed the guests and participants.  He also told to the attendees that MDR-TB started in DD in 2013 and currently 80 MDR TB cases are being well treated.

H.E Ato Ibrahim Usman, DD administration Mayor, welcomed the participants to the Queen Desert City of Dire Dawa. Remembering the fact that MDR-TB treatment was given at Addis Ababa, he informed the participants that Dire Dawa City Administration has started the treatment. Later, H.E Ato Ibrahim has officially opened the workshop.

After the tea break, Dr. Christian Lienhardt, WHO-GTB, made guest lecture on Global action framework for TB research, Guidance and country adaptation; he expressed his pleasure being here in DD. His presentation covers about burden of TB; in the year of 2014, 9.6 Million new TB cases were reported in the world. Of this 0.5 million was MDR-TB; he stated that most TB cases are in Asia and Africa.


According to his presentation, The End TB: Vision, Mission, Targets and Milestones: and outlined three pillars to address the goal:

  1. integrating patients care and prevention
  2. supporting system (we cannot deal TB separately, rather with other health problems)--universal coverage
  3. Research: fundamental research to operational research (developing innovative strategies).

Presenting the topic entitled Clinical Trials experience at AHRI, Dr Tesfamariam Mebratom stated that the main objective of the presentation is to share our experience to those institutions which are not yet doing clinical trial researches.

Then he narrated the history of AHARI that ARHI was established in 1970 with the support of NORAD and SIDA. He also said that basic, applied, and operational researches/clinical trials are now research areas of the AHRI. From Disease portfolio that AHRI comprises, he stated that MDR TB is one of the six health problems under investigations. He remarked in his presentation that Ethiopia has very low clinical trial experience even when compared to other sister African Countries. Therefore, Institutions should join together and bring the clinical trials at highest level. 

H.E Dr. Kebede, state minister of FMOH, made general reflections and comments on presentation and discussion sessions. He acknowledged the roles of AHRI on clinical trials and the guideline developed by TRAC; he also emphasized that the Ministry acknowledges the efforts of AHRI and other partners. He said AHRI is one of the national entities as we work together on nation prevalence estimation, rather than simply using of global estimation data.