Four Ethiopian Mothers Receive REAL Awards for Health Workers at Addis Ceremony

Four Ethiopian Mothers Receive REAL Awards for Health Workers at Addis Ceremony

 {Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH}Almaz Haile, Yeshi Derebew, Jember Alemayehu, and Teberih Tsegay receive 2014 REAL AWARDS.Photo credit: Genaye Eshetu/MSH

Four Ethiopian HIV-positive mothers received 2014 REAL Awards for their outstanding contributions to the fight against HIV, particularly prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), at a ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 10, 2014. Created by Save the Children and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition, the REAL Awards are designed to develop greater respect and appreciation for health workers and the lifesaving care they provide globally, as well as in the United States. 

Meet Tsegay, Haile, Alemayehu, and Derebrew

After breaking their silence and confronting the stigma faced by people living with HIV in Ethiopia, and envisioning that no child be born with HIV from their town, the four mothers—Teberih Tsegay, Almaz Haile, Jember Alemayehu, and Yeshi Derebew—received training on PMTCT and began working in late 2010 as mother mentors at Korem Town’s health center of Tigray Region.

Korem Health Center is one of the health centers supported by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)-funded US Agency of International Development (USAID) Ethiopia Network for HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care and Support (ENHAT-CS) program, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and a consortium of international and Ethiopian organizations, including Save the Children and the National Network of Positive Women Ethiopians.

Save the Children and the ENHAT-CS program co-host ceremony

Timed to coincide with the trophy presentation for US-based honorees in Washington, DC, during World Health Worker Week (April 7-11), Save the Children and ENHAT-CS co-hosted a ceremony in Addis honoring the lifesaving work of the four women.

At the ceremony, Acting Deputy Chief of the USAID Health, AIDS, Population and Nutrition (HAPN) Office, Jeanne Rideout, welcomed attendees:

Today, we are honoring four mother mentors, but they represent numerous brave mothers throughout the nation who are devoting their lives to help other women to bring HIV-free babies into the world. These mothers are showing us the possibility of an AIDS-free generation.

Save the Children Ethiopia Country Director, John Graham, said:

The exemplary work of the four mentor mothers demonstrates the crucial role of community health workers and volunteers, who, with the right training and resources, can effectively implement life-saving interventions and reach those who need our support most.

Chief of Party of ENHAT-CS at MSH, Bud Crandall, added:

The presence of mother mentors at health facilities to help their fellow HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers is a low-cost intervention that improves their uptake of PMTCT services, which brings significant improvements to their lives and those of their children.

[[(From left) Bud Crandall (MSH/ENHAT-CS), Almaz Haile (honoree), Jeanne Rideout (USAID), Yeshi Derebew (honoree), John Graham (Save the Children), Jember Alemayehu (honoree), Asfaw Yihdego (FHAPCO), Teberih Tsegay (honoree), Atakelti Abrha (Tigray health bureau).](From left) Bud Crandall (MSH/ENHAT-CS), Almaz Haile (honoree), Jeanne Rideout (USAID), Yeshi Derebew (honoree), John Graham (Save the Children), Jember Alemayehu (honoree), Asfaw Yihdego (FHAPCO), Teberih Tsegay (honoree), Atakelti Abrha (Tigray health bureau).

Each year, a class of REAL Awards honorees are selected from hundreds of nominations to be recognized for their own work and to serve as the faces of health workers everywhere who are going above and beyond the call of duty for families and children. The mentor mothers are four of the ten 2014 honorees in the Community Health Worker category.

Read more about the lifesaving work of Tsegay, Haile, Alemayehu, and Derebew

 

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