Fifth Cohort Graduates from US Government Funded Health Program

Fifth Cohort Graduates from US Government Funded Health Program
Dear Secretary General,
Madam Representative of the World Health Organization,
Mr. AFENET Resident Advisor,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am pleased to be with you today for a rather unique ceremony.  Indeed, it takes place after the untimely deaths – after a struggle with long-term illness – of two of our collaborators who played a key role in the design and implementation of Mauritania’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP).  They are Dr. Assane Hamadi and Dr. Bernard Sawadogo, after whom this fifth cohort is named.  I take this opportunity to offer you my heartfelt condolences.  My thoughts are also with the grieving families.  We will never forget them.  I also know how much you have all mobilized to express your compassion for both of our colleagues.
Now, I would like to share with you my impressions of this graduation ceremony of the fifth cohort of the Field Epidemiology Training Program.  I am honored to witness this effort.  I know that every resident has given as much as they have received and for that, I thank you.
This fifth cohort concludes the U.S. government’s financial support from CDC to the field epidemiology training program in Mauritania.  As you know, it is the nature of programs to have an end.  Especially financial.  However, the U.S. government remains committed to working in partnership with Mauritania.  CDC will continue to engage with Mauritanian health institutions through its availability to provide the technical assistance that may be needed moving forward.
I am pleased that during their visit last January, our CDC colleagues – Gina Engler and Refaat Hanna – worked with the Ministry of Health to plan an effective transition of the program and discussed the ownership of the program by the Ministry of Health.
Dear Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to assure you that we remain committed to our cooperation.  We will spare no effort to promote and strengthen it.  It is already strong, as evidenced by the successful training of the 133 residents – in five cohorts – since the first phase of the program in 2016-2017.  We celebrate this achievement, which will strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health to prevent, detect, and respond to public health events.
Dear Secretary General,
I would like to commend your leadership in promoting public health.  I appreciate how much you have always been at our side to anchor this program in the long term.  My deep appreciation also goes to the World Bank which has contributed to the financing of this fifth cohort whose residents I congratulate.  I remind them how crucial their commitment will be to promote epidemiological surveillance in Mauritania with the objective of the well-being of Mauritanians.  I would also like to thank the World Health Organization and AFENET, our essential partners in building an ever safer and healthier world.
Thank you.