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Class 12 (2013-2015)

Tekle-Ab Mekbib, Ethiopia

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Department of Maternal and Child Health

During school vacations, Tekle-Ab accompanied his sister, a community nurse, when she traveled to rural health centers in Gondar, Ethiopia. Her team examined children and pregnant women and helped women in labor. Since then, he dreamt of becoming a doctor. As a result of a national uprising in 1974 in Ethiopia, the university where Tekle-Ab studied was closed. However, he was selected for a scholarship to study medicine in St. Petersburg, Russia and later pursued specialty training in maternal and neonatal health. After serving as a physician, his career led him to join a research organization called the Population Council. He was then able to see the health problems of the rural population and this influenced him to step out of his day-to-day clinical work and see the big picture in public health. Programs that were led by Tekle-Ab focused on improving the reproductive health (RH) and livelihood status of adolescent girls and women in Ethiopia. For Tekle-Ab, it has been satisfying to see how research influences policy by providing evidence based research to decision-makers who need facts at hand to develop cost-effective and appropriately designed interventions that can be replicated. Upon completion of the Rotary World Peace Program, Tekle-Ab will pursue a career within maternal and child health. This will help him produce and promote evidence based findings for policy change in maternal and child health. At the same time, this opportunity will enable him to become a public health expert in general and a leader in international maternal health in particular.

Applied Field Experience

WHO Collaborating Center for Research Evidence, Chapel Hill, USA