National Health Professional Workshop Conducted at Haramaya University


By Shemsedin Mohammed /Public & International Relation Directorate

To enhance professional understanding and devise future collaborations, the national health professional workshop on podoconiosis was held at Haramaya University College of Health and Medical Sciences in Collaboration with the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Ethiopia from July 30 – 31, 2015 at Main Campus.


During the workshop it was highlighted that podoconiosis is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and it is mainly observed in tropical regions in which Ethiopia is not an exception.  It was also indicated that the disease has huge health, social and economic impacts on the affected community. It affects individuals whose bare feet are exposed to red clay soil derived from alkali volcanic rock for prolonged time.

 It was also pointed out that in Ethiopia there are about 1 million podoconiosis cases and an estimated 19.2 million people are at risk of developing the disease. To this effect, the Ministry of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia launched the National Master Plan of NTDs.


According to Desalegn Ayana, dean of College of Health and Medical Sciences, the main objectives of the  workshop were to review the current achievements in podoconiosis prevention/treatment; identify challenges/opportunities; set priorities for addressing podoconiosis; and to strengthen the partnership among government, the academia and development partners in the elimination of podoconiosis.


On this workshop, more than 70 participants from different organizations and institutions including the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, universities, regional health bureaus, and regional education bureaus, took part in. Moreover, professionals, researchers and stakeholders, as well as patients who have benefited from podoconiosis treatment interventions participated in this workshop. During the workshop, research presentations and panel discussions were made by various scholars.


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