In an effort to combat the spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Jegna and People to People, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE), and African Renaissance Television Services (ARTS TV) will officially launch a public awareness campaign starting Monday, May 11. The campaign is designed to deliver on-demand medical advice from renowned doctors, minimize the strain on FMOH’s call centers and battle misinformation.
Through the Facebook group called “ኮቪድ-19 ጥያቄና መልስ | COVID-19 Q&A Ethiopia,” health experts address the public’s questions regarding COVID-19, including, but not limited to, its symptoms, how it is transmitted, preventative measures and possible risks. Jegna and People to People are pleased to host renowned medical doctors on-demand responding to the public’s questions starting today.
Dr. Enawgaw Mehari is a Neurologist at Dickson Medical Associates as well as the President of People to People, which he founded in 1999 soon after earning his MD from the University of Kentucky. He also founded the Peoples’ Free Clinic in Morehead, Kentucky, which has served as a free clinic for the working poor in the community. Dr. Mehari has been recognized for his many contributions, including receiving a distinguished services award from the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora as well as being nominated as a CNN Hero. He also serves as a diplomat of Neurology, Inc. and the American Board of Psychiatry and is a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Dr. Hanna Demeke works as a nurse consultant for a health agency in the United States. She focuses her efforts on studying infectious diseases, including viruses like COVID-19 and is part of a response team established to combat infectious disease outbreaks. Dr. Hanna has more than 20 years of experience in the nursing field and has practiced in Ethiopia as well as the United States. She holds nursing degrees from Gondar University and Jimma University in Ethiopia and earned a master’s and Ph.D. in nursing from Emory University.
Dr. Kidist Teshome is the Chief Executive Director of People to People. Before assuming this role, she practiced medicine as a general practitioner in Addis Ababa. She also currently serves on multiple committees, including as a senior advisor on the MoSHE Public Awareness Panel on COVID-19 as well as a member of the Solution Through Conversation Network representing Ethiopia as Africa optimists. She also hosts a medical show on ARTS TV. She earned her MD from Addis Ababa University, College of Science and School of Medicine.
Dr. Meron Hirpa is a resident physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she practices internal medicine with a focus on urban primary care. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Amherst College and her medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Meron is passionate about addressing health disparities through primary care, global health and systems reform.
Dr. Tewabech Bishaw is a passionate public health specialist with over 40 years of national and global work experience. She founded and is the managing director of Alliance for Brain-Gain and Innovative Development (ABIDE). Prior to that she served at the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia for over 15 years before joining UNICEF, where she spent over 20 years working in four different countries in several varying functions. Her work there focused on HIV/AIDS prevention care and management, health, nutrition, water sanitation, as well as maternal and child health services. Dr. Tewabech has been nominated for and received several awards for her work in public health, including being listed in the “Top 100 Women Leaders in Global Public Health”. She has also co-founded and currently leads several organizations in the public health sector and serves as a member for multiple public health committees. Dr. Tewabech holds a Bachelor’s degree from Addis Ababa University, Gondar Public Health College. She also earned a master’s of Public Health, Diploma in Health Education as well as a Dr. of Health Sciences degree, both from Loma Linda University School of Health.
“We’re excited to launch this campaign through Jegna” said Obse Tesfu, executive director of Jegna. “Beyond merely raising awareness, we’re trying to change behavior so that the public can adjust to the new normal.”
The campaign’s website can be accessed at JegnaWorks.org/COVID-19. It is a living resource with accurate and timely information from esteemed health experts. It also houses the communications toolkit and regularly-updated frequently asked questions (FAQs).