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Public Health Institute Congratulates Ethiopian Federal Minister of Health on Humanitarian Award

March 22, 2011

The Public Health Institute (PHI) congratulates Ethiopian Federal Minister of Health Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, a global health leader and malaria research expert, for receiving the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Mankind for 2011.

The National Foundation of Infectious Diseases (NFID) selected Dr. Tedros for this prestigious award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and dedication to improving the health of Ethiopians. Dr. Tedros has been minister of health since 2005 and chairs the board of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

From 2005 to 2007, PHI's International Family Planning Leadership Program provided leadership development support to Dr. Tedros and his senior department heads at the ministry. Working with PHI's team, they created a new vision for the Ministry of Health and identified the country's five most pressing health challenges, which included maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS and malaria. They developed strategic plans and activities for each area of concern and were highly successful in addressing the priorities they set. Previously, the ministry had attempted to tackle a wide array of health needs all at once, which proved to be ineffective.

"Dr. Tedros is a highly influential leader in global health who has worked tirelessly to strengthen his country's health system," said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. "His commitment to improving the health and lives of the Ethiopian people is making a significant difference. PHI is very proud to have worked with Dr. Tedros, and we heartily congratulate him on this award.

"As minister of health, Tedros Adhanom scaled up efforts to prevent malaria that led to a 60 percent drop in new cases and a 51 percent decline in deaths over three years. The government distributed 20 million mosquito nets during this period and sent out 30,000 salaried 'health extension workers' to local communities to provide primary care and to work on preventing malaria.

The Maryland-based NFID established the Carter humanitarian award to recognize outstanding humanitarian efforts and achievements that have improved the health of people everywhere. The honor was named for former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who were its first recipients in 1997.

Previous honorees have included Bill and Melinda Gates, former President Bill Clinton, Paul Farmer, MD, and General Colin Powell.

PHI's newly released "Leadership Development Report" provides additional information about its programs to increase leadership capacity in health systems domestically and around the globe.