Strengthening Health and Mobility Across Borders: A Joint IGAD IOM Training

Dr. Girum Hailu, Senior Policy and Partnership Specialist IGAD reviews the Population Mobility Mapping (PMM) materials during the cross-border training in Mombasa Photo: Eva Sibanda/IOM 2024

Mombasa, Kenya – In a landmark initiative to bolster health security and mobility across Horn of Africa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) joined forces for a 3-day comprehensive Health and Border Management and Mobility (HBMM) training from 19 to 21 June 2024, hosted by Kenya. 

This training aims to enhance and strengthen capacities of border health officials from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia on the HBMM Framework and in managing cross-border health and mobility challenges. The training brought together key health stakeholders from development partners in the Horn of Africa, including representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and Ministries of Health. 

“Through this partnership with IGAD, we are not only strengthening the health infrastructure but also promoting regional cooperation and capacity building, which are essential for the sustainable management of migration. IOM is committed to supporting countries in the Horn of Africa to enhance their capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to communicable disease outbreaks along the mobility continuum.” - Dr. Viviane Kuissi, IOM Regional Migration Health Specialist

The training covers various topics including surveillance assessment and data, disease surveillance at borders and in communities, population mobility mapping, risk communication and community engagement, vaccination in the context of mobility, and multisectoral coordination.  

"The cross-border areas such as ports of entry and migrant routes, hot spots, trade routes and zones need high attention. The collaboration between IGAD and IOM to address special needs of migrants, refugees, displaced people and host communities will continue in the years to come." - Dr. Girum Hailu, Senior Policy and Partnership Specialist, IGAD. 

With a focus on evidence-driven practices, multisectoral coordination, and the protection of migrant and mobile communities' health rights, the training will equip participants with the necessary skills to spearhead impactful and mobility-sensitive public health initiatives. 

This capacity building is supported by - and aligns to - the Regional Migrant Response Plan (MRP) for the Horn of Africa to Yemen and Southern Africa. This training directly speaks to the MRP objectives 1 and 4 which are the provision of life-saving assistance, including medical care to vulnerable migrants and host communities and further builds evidence, partnerships and coordination to enhance humanitarian response and migration management along the migration routes. 

For more information, please contact: Eva Sibanda Media and Communications Officer, +254795424202

Notes to Editors 

About IGAD  

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a regional bloc in Africa composed of eight member states, focused on development and humanitarian efforts IGAD focuses on health and social development in the Horn of Africa region. Key priorities include strengthening health systems, improving access to quality healthcare, addressing communicable and non-communicable diseases, and promoting social protection and resilience. IGAD works with member states and partners on initiatives such as disease surveillance, emergency preparedness, reproductive health, and nutrition. IGAD also aims to build capacity, enhance regional coordination, and mobilize resources to address regional health and social development challenges affecting communities in the IGAD region. 

About IOM Migration Health 

IOM’s Migration Health interventions in the East and Horn of Africa region focus on ensuring migrants have access to quality health services and promoting the well-being of mobile populations. Key areas of work include preventing and responding to communicable diseases, supporting mental health and psychosocial assistance, addressing sexual and reproductive health needs, and enhancing preparedness and response to health emergencies and humanitarian crises involving migrants. IOM collaborates with governments, civil society, and other partners to integrate migration health considerations into national health systems and policies, strengthen cross-border health cooperation, and build the capacity of health actors to provide migrant-inclusive services. 

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals