Honorary Board Member Tesfaye Mekonnen, M.D.
From the time I studied medicine at the Higher Institute of Medical Science in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, I thought only of dedicating myself to improving medical care in places in dire need of improvements. I obtained my medical degree in 1988, and after four years in general practice in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I joined the Addis Ababa University medical faculty and graduated in 1996 as an anesthesiologist.
During my residency at Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, I identified major problems in the emergency care delivery system and presented my findings and recommendations at the annual medical conference in Addis Ababa in June 1995. While working as an anesthesiologist at the Armed Forces General Hospital in Addis Ababa, I worked to develop comprehensive pre-hospitalization care for the people of Addis Ababa and to improve Emergency Department care at Addis Ababa Hospital.
From 1997 to 2004, I organized and conducted several trainings for health care professionals and pre-hospital-care staff in conjunction with Israel, United States emergency care physicians, and the Addis Ababa Health Bureau. In 2003, I was appointed the first national program officer at the World Health Organization’s Ethiopia office to support violence & injury prevention programs throughout the country. In 2004, I became one of the few members of the international staff selected to join the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS), which prepares health care and allied health professionals for public practice to assume key epidemiological and administrative roles in communities.
Having written many academic papers and a history book titled Key Annbesa (2000), I currently work in Atlanta, providing support for emergency & disaster medicine development in Ethiopia. Living with my wife and three young children reminds me every day how important it is for every human being to have the chance for a happy and rewarding life. I am glad the International Fund for Africa shares my concern for the people of Ethiopia and understands the plight of people there who lack crucial care necessary for life’s many opportunities to be meaningful, and I look forward to working with IFA to make progress in the coming years.