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Dr. Tedros’s meeting with US Senators (Aug 22, 2013)
(July 22, 2013) MFA
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Dr. Tedros’s meeting with US Senators (Aug 22, 2013)

Dr. Tedros  met yesterday (August 21) with a group of US Senators
including Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Richard Burr, Senator
John Thune, Senator John Barroso and Senator Mike Johanns. Their
discussions largely focused on the impact of US support to Ethiopia
especially in the health and agriculture sectors. Dr. Tedros thanked
the US government for its generous and bipartisan support for the
PEPFAR program which, he said, had tremendous impact for tackling
the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. He said the HIV infection rate had
fallen from 7% to 1.6% over the past few years; and HIV/AIDS related
mortality had dropped by 90% with the advent of the treatment that
had been provided through the support of PEPFAR.  
He said Ethiopia had been able to use PEPFAR in a unique way to build a health system predicated on the promotion of
preventive health through a primary health care system. Dr. Tedros  briefed the senators on the dramatic changes in the
reduction of major killer diseases such as TB, Malaria, and HIV/AIDS brought about by training of 38,000 women health
extension workers.  Huge successes were also seen in the reduction of mother to child HIV transmission prevention and there
had been a sharp decline in infant mortality rate in general. He extended his appreciation to the US government’s support for
agricultural development in Ethiopia through the Safety Net program and the Agricultural Transformation Agency. He said:
“the support we are getting through the safety net is particularly important in ensuring food security and improving productivity
because our agricultural policy focuses on boosting productivity of smallholder farming through provision of expanded
mechanization, improved seeds and fertilizers.”

The two sides also exchanged views on regional matters and on ways to combat religious extremism. Dr. Tedros explained
that despite Ethiopia’s age -old culture of religious tolerance a few radical elements in recent years had been trying to cause
problems. He said the Government was dealing with the issue mainly through educating the community to dissuade innocent
believers from giving support to these elements.  The question of adoption was raised and the two sides took note how to
best fill gaps in adoption laws and practices in order to ensure the interests of all parties including the adoptees.