Message from The President

Message from the President on OPA 3rd Annual Conference

Jilcha Diribi Feyisa (MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Oncology) President, OPA

As the president of the Oromia Physicians’ Association (OPA), I want to start by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to all the frontline health care workers, who are treating patients infected with the lethal virus, COVID 19. I am proud to say that all your selfless and sacrifcial service has mitigated the disease from spreading and saved many patients from succumbing to the disease. We will continue to remember all the health workers who sacrifced their precious life while serving to save lives. I also want to extend my appreciation to the Oromia Regional Health Bureau for its great leadership role as well as the diaspora community especially the International Oromoo Health Professionals Association for their rapid response in supporting our efforts to combat the crisis caused by the pandemic. The crisis generated by COVID 19 is a clear example of how the central role played by the government can be enhanced by collaborating with civic societies and private infrastructures.

Selfless commitment to give back! – OPA

As we are celebrating the 3rd annual conference of the Oromia Physicians Association, several events are unfolding across Oromia, Ethiopia, and the globe. COVID 19 imposed a global challenge that demands physicians, researchers, policymakers, and government to address multiple dimensions of issues that go far beyond the health sector. The political atmosphere of our country is continuously changing which directly and indirectly affects the health service delivery in our region. The swift change in donor’s policy towards the management of the international partnership is also a turning point considering its impact on the health care system of low-income countries.

Even before the pandemic started, we have been witnessing the challenges that the Ethiopian health care system has been facing, both in human resources and setup. Our hospitals do not have advanced diagnostic and therapeutic instruments creating challenges to healthcare access. Pharmaceutical productions and supply are at a very low level to cope up with the increasing demand. There is a lack of investment in developing human power. The health policy especially the health care fnancing system has been debated given the inability to generate adequate amounts of money to support the demanding health system. Private investment in the health sector has also remained very limited and weak. Yet, we continued facing the double burden of disease from infectious and non-communicable diseases. All of these warrant the need for dynamic change to build a strong health care system.

These issues need to be addressed to create an uncompromised high-tech health care system to deliver effective and effcient medical services to both rural and urban areas. We feel that it is the right time to make a breakthrough in the health care sector. Living in the era of advanced and personalized medicine, we have to go further than ever before to reinvent medical practice in Oromia and Ethiopia. During this time of a global pandemic, when health issues have become the focus of global affairs, there are numerous opportunities, if we are to exploit, to build a strong health system and encourage self-development of physicians.

As responsible physicians, we feel that we have to be leaders in bringing the change we are advocating for. The establishment of OPA is to achieve this objective. It is aimed at lifting pools of great minds of physicians to alleviate the deep-rooted problems within the health sector and support the government in the process of bringing change in the feld. Over the past 3 years, OPA has been very successful in building a strong association and imposing a great influence on the health sector both in policymaking and democratization. We have been trying to adjuvate the works done by the government to improve both preventive and curative medicine. The organization has invested efforts to create healthy citizens, safeguard physicians’ rights, and build capacity in terms of medical knowledge, research, leadership, and skill of physicians. We have been trying to design a simple and near to perfect system to make a conducive platform in such a way that all of the members will have an active engagement. In this regard, we are witnessing how our members are welcoming the efforts of the association by giving their full support.

This is however only the beginning. For OPA to play a great role in the daily works of members, and fully manifest itself as a catalyst, we need to have persistent growth. Keeping this in mind, we hope everyone is preparing ahead to perform many upcoming assignments as the association continues to grow and engage in several projects. OPA members are expected to be determined and committed to achieving the mission of the organization. With such a commitment, we will use every possible opportunity to make a difference in the health of our community while working hard to encourage the self-development of physicians. Hence, I call upon all members to solidify our communion efforts towards the achievement of our goals.

We also believe that the politically motivated environment and long lasted underestimation of civil societies has been ending following the recent reform which enables professionals to play their role in the development of a nation. The political atmosphere is always playing a crucial role for a civic society to function at its full capacity. The collective effort of professionals serving the nation and the region needs to be supported by the government. In this regard, we appreciate the welcoming atmosphere we witnessed from Oromia regional health bureau, ministry of health, and other government bodies. And we call upon to work on the sustainability of such collaboration to build a bright future for the health sector of our country.

I believe, we conquered the last season by the selfless hard work of all stakeholders, and most importantly by the grace of Waaqaa. Thank you all for being part of such a historical battle. I wish, the new season will bring a clean atmosphere and a great lesson to build a resilient health care system.

Best wishes,

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