Amhara Public Health Institute selected as the first regional Institute to cascade NIPN’s activities

Amhara Public Health Institute selected as the first regional Institute to cascade NIPN’s activities

BAHIR-DAR – August 02, 2023 - (NIPN/EPHI) – NIPN-Ethiopia has made official the selection of an institute that will carry over its activities at the regional level. Accordingly, the Amhara Public Health Institute (APHI) was selected as the first regional body to cascade NIPN’s activities in the Region. Concerning the cascading and related activities to be taken over by APHI, NIPN’s team led by its coordinator Aregash Samuel (PhD) had a pre-inception meeting at the APHI office in Bahir-Dar city of Amhara Region.

At this pre-inception meeting, in which 14 participants were involved, Aregash Samuel (PhD) briefed the participants about the overall activities of NIPN-Ethiopia. Aregash dwelt much on project activities carried out in partnership with regional PHIs, Federal EPHI, and donor agents. She said that in an effort to expand and strengthen the projects, NIPN-Ethiopia has determined to cascade activities at the Regional level. “Our first region to commence the cascading activities is APHI,” Aregash announced, adding that she appreciated those who were involved in conducting the feasibility study.

Aregash called upon APHI to work diligently so that the common effort of executing NIPN’s project would go successfully.

Elazar Tadesse (PhD), senior nutrition researcher and consultant with NIPN conducted the feasibility study of the cascading process. The study was meant to generate relevant evidence for the selection of the regional public health Institute. She said that the study was done in collaboration with NIPN/EPHI team members to determine the readiness and capacity of the regional PHIs and whether they could host NIPN’s project. Five regional states and one City Administration (Amhara, Oromia, Sidama, Dire-Dawa City Administration, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples, Region, and Afar) were made to go through the selection process, according to Elazar. The feasibility study assessed capacity and readiness of the six regional Public Health Institutes in Ethiopia, Elazar said.

The feasibility study incorporated various detailed criteria to identify which partner of NIPN/EPHI best serves the purpose. Elazar, who is also the responsible leading staff member for the cascading initiative said that the presence of PHI in the region, its activities, the equipment, infrastructure, and professional input were considered, among others, as selection criteria.

After the feasibility study had been finalized, it was presented to the NIPN team, the director of the Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate (FSNRD), Masresha Tessema (PhD,) and the NIPN-Ethiopia Advisory Committee, which forwarded invaluable comments and inputs to fine-tune the document.

Elazar underscored during the pre-inception meeting that NIPN and APHI will have a common understanding and do the future plan together for the cascading. She has also said that the pre-inception meeting is significant to share the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in the implementation process of NIPN-Ethiopia projects in the last five years. Elazar lauded the efforts APHI has exerted to become successful in the selection and called up on the heads of APHI that as it is the first move to cascade NIPN to regions, the success of APHI determines the future cascading into other regions.

APHI Director General, Belay Bezabih expressed his appreciation for the close investigation conducted by NIPN-Ethiopia in the selection process and valued APHI, which has been exerting maximum efforts to live up to its expectations.

Director of the Research Directorate at APHI, Gizachew Yismaw (PhD), said on the occasion that with the help of the Federal EPHI and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), APHI is bolstering efforts to perform at its maximum capacity. Gizachew appreciated EPHI’s support in hiring three experts for APHI.

Asked whether APHI is ready to shoulder the responsibility given by NIPN-Ethiopia, Gizachew said that his institute “is ready to accomplish the delegated activities” to the best of its capacity. “We are objective oriented experts here. We have built a state of the art laboratory, which is the biggest in the region. We have been equipped with hardworking researchers, trained human power, and infrastructure. I assure you that with these inputs, we are more than ready to accomplish our activities,” he said.

APHI Director General, Belay said on his part that his institute has evidence generating capacity with qualified human power and infrastructure. “We strive hard to become successful, supported by our hardworking staff members and other supporting institutions,” he said.

Representatives drawn from APHI, NIPN-Ethiopia, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) were in attendance at the pre-inception meeting held at the premises of APHI.  (NIPN/EPHI).