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January 3-5, 2016
Gullele Botanical Garden, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The recently established Global Environmental and Occupational Health Hub for Eastern Africa launched Jan. 3-5, 2016, at the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre headquarters at the Gullele Botanical Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Lead investigators representing eastern Africa partner institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, as well as the University of Southern California, attended the meeting. During the three-day launch the team aimed to finalize publications and disseminate findings from the recently concluded situational analysis and needs assessments conducted in all four partner countries to re-enforce common understanding of issues including indoor/outdoor air pollution and health, occupational health and safety, and climate change and health.

The lead institution for eastern Africa is Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, while the partner institutions comprise Uganda’s Makerere University; Rwanda’s University of Rwanda; and Kenya’s Massai Mara University, University of Kabianga, and Great Lakes University of Kisumu.

The GEOHealth Hub was established through a joint $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (USA) and Canada’s International Development Research Centre. It is part of a network of seven hubs from around the world funded through the same mechanism. The other hubs are based in Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Peru, Suriname and Ghana.


  1. Theonest Ntakirutimana, University of Rwanda, Rwanda
  2. Etienne Rugigana, University of Rwanda, Rwanda
  3. Lynn Atuyambe, Makerere University, Uganda
  4. Samuel Ebuut Etajak, Makerere University, Uganda
  5. Augustine Afullo, University of Kabianga, Kenya
  6. Kevin Abidha Achola, Great Lakes University of Kisumu, Kenya
  7. Abera Kumie, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  8. Worku Tefera, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  9. Belay Simane, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  10. Araya Asfaw, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  11. Wakgari Deressa, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  12. Alemayehu Worku, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  13. Jonathan Samet, University of Southern California, United States
  14. Kiros Berhane, University of Southern California, United States
  15. Nivvy Hundal, University of Southern California, United States


Participants were actively engaged to draw attention to and develop a common platform for the following:

  1. Administrative arrangements to speed up the initiation of research activities, including memorandums of understanding between AAU and USC and between partner universities, as well as technical sub-grantee agreements.
  2. Getting IRB clearance after customizing the GEOHealth proposal to suit country-specific research.
  3. Actively engaging GEOHealth stakeholders through the formation of the advisory committee and involving short-term training and meetings.
  4. The transfer of the grant to sub-grantees structured through a sub-grantee agreement and clear indication grant for each partner university.
  5. Disseminating of SANA finding to the scientific community through reputable national or international journals.