Ethiopia Celebrates MSH’s 40th Anniversary

[MSH staff celebrate MSH's 40th anniversary with Jason Fraser, Deputy Mission Director, USAID-Ethiopia (second from right)] MSH staff celebrate MSH's 40th anniversary with Jason Fraser, Deputy Mission Director, USAID-Ethiopia (second from right)

Nearly 200 guests gathered at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa to celebrate MSH’s 40th anniversary and longstanding development work in Ethiopia, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and USAID. The event, held in conjunction with the 16th International Conference on AIDS and STIs,  also served as the Ethiopian launch of the new book about MSH by John Donnelly (with photographs by Dominic Chavez), Go to the People. Ethiopian Minister of Health, His Excellency Dr. Tedros Adhanom, was kind enough to write the foreword.

Guests dined on traditional Ethiopian food and wine and were treated to a cultural music and dance performance and two videos—one about MSH’s Tao of Leadership philosophy and one about our work with community health workers to combat HIV/AIDS.

Negussu Mekonnen, Chief of Party for one of MSH’s Projects in Ethiopia—the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) program—and MSH’s Country Representative in Ethiopia, hosted the evening and delivered some remarks (PDF).

“MSH-Ethiopia is extremely proud and thankful to the Ministry of Health and PEPFAR/USAID for the opportunity we were given to contribute towards expanding access to treatment, care and support of ART patients, whose number has increased from less than 10,000 in 2005 to more than 260,000 today,” said Mekonnen.

Ato Berhanu Feyisa, Director General, Office of the Minister, Ministry of Health, in a toast to MSH, said “MSH is one of our strong partners, improving the health system [in Ethiopia] in general and improving the supply chain. We wouldn’t have achieved what we have without you. You are 40 years young. When people get older, they get stronger. We look forward to aligning our humanitarian plans. I congratulate the leaders and teams working with the Ministry; they are competent and dedicated.”

Jason Fraser, Deputy Mission Director, USAID-Ethiopia, said, “The great organization called MSH is working with the Federal Minister of Health and powerful leadership of Minister Tedros in implementing the results we are seeing today in Ethiopia. It is remarkable for me, as a development professional, to see what is happening in Africa. We are making progress. We are achieving results. Africa is no longer the “dark continent” but one of light and hope. MSH should be proud of the accomplishments they have made in Africa—reduction of HIV/AIDS transmission and healthier Ethiopians."

"40 years is a long time. USAID just celebrated its 50th anniversary, 50 years in Africa," continued Fraser. "What’s important is not being here 50 years from now. Our goal is to look back and say, 'we did good' and we are no longer needed; the people in Africa have done it themselves. Thanks to all of you in the trenches. You are making a difference on the ground.”

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