Held virtually on the 20th and 21st of April 2021, The GLOBVAC 2021 (Global Health and Vaccination) Conference saw outstanding key note speeches from world renowned scientists within global health, as well as parallel and poster sessions.
Dr. Abebe Genetu (AHRI, Director General), was one of the keynote speakers during the conference which had an overarching theme of: “The changing landscape of the Global Health in the 21st century.”
The conference which geared to present and celebrate results and achievements in global health research in the last decades whilst reimagining the next decade to come, saw Dr. Abebe depicting the perfect example of unparalleled partnership between the North-South with regards to Global Health Research.
Titled; “Sustainable North-South Partnership in Global Health Research: the 50 year experience of the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI), Ethiopia,” Dr. Abebe, expressed the footprint of the partnership that led to the founding of AHRI in 1970 courtesy of the Norwegian and Swedish save the children. He expounded that for over 50-years the partnership had weathered the storm in the form of; political changes within Ethiopia, financial challenges as well as structural changes when the institute adjoined ALERT as a government institution.
“Despite the challenges, the solid partnership has contributed towards the longevity of AHRI; from the early days of Immunology and Multi-drug therapy of leprosy to its expansion to Tuberculosis, Malaria and Leishmaniasis, and currently to Infectious diseases and NCDs. The research divisions have also expanded, which have brought with it measures such as Evidence to Policy and Practice. As noted, this have been beneficial in the fight against Malaria, Neisseria Meningitidis and more recently, COVID-19, through the in-house antibody serology test kit developed at AHRI. Moreover, the human resources at AHRI has had an exponential growth to over 400 employees with 49% being women, adding to the gender equality stature of the institute. As AHRI’s partners and global partnerships expands, this is a golden example of a fruitful partnership,” remarked the Director General during the keynote speech.
The annual event was organized by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, which brought together researchers, practitioners, policy makers and students who met in a fully virtual conference to learn, connect and make plans for new research projects.