ARBA MINCH: ‘‘The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) provide a framework, for the entire international community to work together towards a common end – making sure that human development reaches everyone, everywhere, if these goals are achieved, world poverty will be cut by half, tens of millions of lives will be saved and billions would have the opportunity to benefit from the global economy, said the President of Arba Minch University, Dr Feleke Woldeyes.

The AMU president was speaking during the two-day annual research symposium organized by College of Medicine & Health Sciences (CMHS) at its premises from 30th to 31st May, 2013. The main theme of the symposium is ‘Reproductive Health and Infectious Disease challenges: The response of the healthcare system.


Dr Feleke Woldeyes further stressed, ‘‘The new strategy agreed upon by the world leaders would provide us the road map to tackle majority of the health and related problems of the people across the world.’’

In his keynote address, Mr Behailu Merdekios, CMHS Dean, highlighting the pathetic scenario on reproductive, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, revealed, ‘‘A woman dies every minute in a day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth and these deaths take place in developing nations, where one in every 65 women risks their lives.

An estimated 39.5 million people in the world are living with HIV or AIDS. In 2006, 4.3 million people were newly infected with HIV. Around 28.9 million people have died from AIDS since its inception. Seventeen million of 28.9 million people who died from AIDS are Africans.

Currently, 30 million Africans are infected with the HIV virus of which 1.5 million are children. There are 13.7 million AIDS orphans in Africa and the number is likely to grow to 25 million unless major preventive efforts begin immediately.’’

In his welcome speech, the Head of College of Research Coordination office, Tsegaye Tsalla Chanko, said ‘‘Infectious diseases, reproductive health and malnutrition impose great challenges to human beings by affecting their health and economies; and Sub-Saharan African nations are susceptible for large extents of infectious diseases.

In Ethiopia different efforts are being made to prevent and control major types of infectious diseases, nevertheless, HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrheal diseases and other STIs are still making life of the people worse.’’ he underscored.

Dr Degu Jerene’s presentation on ‘Reproductive Health and Infectious diseases’ was followed by the panel discussion in which most of the participants actively participated.

Mr Zerihun Zerdo, Mr Shikur Mohammad, Mr Wanzahun Godana, Marie Stopes representative, Mr Addisu Alemayehu, Mr Amanuel Alemu, Mr Worku Animaw, Mr Desalegn Tamiru, Mrs Betelihem Terefe, Mr Demoz Haile, Mr Mulugeta Melkie presented their point of views through their respective presentations and poster presentations.

Mr Behailu Merdekios, Dr Asfaw Jemaneh, Mr Binyam Bogale and Dr Degu Jerene chaired the respective sessions. Mr Tsegaye Tsalla and Dr Fantahun were the moderators for the day.

Ms Mekdes Kondale, Mr Girma Temam, Mr Mesfin Mammo and Ms Mekdes Kondale were the rapporteurs on the occasion. The day’s session was attended by around 150 participants including members from Arba Minch University.

Johns Hopkins University-Tsehai (JHU-Tsehai), African Medical Research Foundation - Ethiopia (AMRF), Marie Stopes International- Ethiopia, Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA) and Arbaminch Health Science College are the sponsors of the symposium.