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On Voices of Anakazi , Tuesday July 24, we will feature Dr. Teguest Guerma, an Ethiopian national, medical doctor and infectious diseases specialist, was appointed Director General of AMREF in June 2010. She is the first African woman to lead AMREF since its inception in 1957.
Dr Guerma has enjoyed an extensive career in public health with over 26 years experience with the World Health Organization (WHO). Until her appointment to AMREF, Dr. Guerma worked as the Associate Director of the HIV/AIDS department for the WHO in Geneva where she was responsible for their overall strategy on HIV/AIDS. Previously, she served as the WHO representative to UN Headquarters in New York, USA and Gaborone, Botswana; HIV/AIDS and STI Regional Adviser in the WHO Regional office for Africa, in Brazzaville, Congo, and acted as a WHO Representative in Kathmandu Nepal, among other roles.
Dr. Guerma began her career as a medical practitioner and infectious diseases specialist in Senegal and Burundi in the mid-1980s. She holds a medical degree from the University of Reims and post-graduate degrees in Infectious Diseases and Bacteriology Virology from the University of Dakar. Dr Guerma also received a certificate in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.
This is a symbolic nomination of an African midwife where AMREF wants the important role midwives play in saving the lives of mothers and their children in Africa to be recognised globally.
Esther Madudu, 32, is an AMREF-trained midwife employed by the Government of Uganda. Esther is the face of the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign. She is a committed, passionate, enthusiastic woman. Working in a very remote health facility, Esther symbolises midwives who work under conditions such as and worse than hers. She has been working for almost 12 years starting off at a maternity home in Kumi District, Eastern Uganda before joining Kumi District Hospital.
Esther currently works at Tiriri Health Center IV in Katine District where she has worked for close to four years. The health centre, located just outside Tiriri trading centre in Katine, is the main facility for seven sub-counties that make up Soroti County. The health centre is a mini hospital which has 34 beds and sees up to 100 outpatients a day, including referrals.
There are two midwives at the health centre, two clinical officers and two medical doctors. The midwives duties include prenatal services among them examination of mothers, counselling of HIV-positive mothers, nutritional education, teaching mothers how to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children; maternity services, including delivery; and postnatal care. Besides all the other duties, the midwives deliver 45 to 50 babies every month.
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