Yirgu Gebrehiwot

Yirgu Gebrehiwot is a candidate for the position of FIGO President Elect 2021–2023.

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"I am Yirgu Gebrehiwot (MD,MSC, OBGYN, Gyn Oncologist), born 1964.

I have Practiced Obstetrics and Gynaecologist for the last 24. All the time I have been a full time faculty member engaged in clinical service, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students and in the last seven years fellows of Gynaecology oncology. I have been a dedicated professional with recognition from my students, my faculty, and both the Ethiopian society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ESOG) and the Ethiopian Medical Association both of which I have served as president. In Addition I have been recognized by the house of Representative for surgical excellence in surgery done on conjoint twins.  

I have authored/co-authored  32  publications in peer reviewed journal, 13 other publication (training materials, guidelines and reports) to my credit and has advised a number of postgraduate students on their thesis .I also contributed to national guidelines on family planning , a technical and procedural guideline on safe abortion services and a national management guideline on Selected Obstetrics and Gynaecology problems.

I joined the society while I was resident and has been a member ever since for about 27 years. I have served as honorary secretary when the society was not having even an office and contributed to make ESOG one of strong association in Africa. I have served as president for two terms enabling the society to be financially and organizationally strong. As one of the recipient of FIGO project, I have successfully led the FIGO logic and FIGO SRHR Project nationally. I led the first initiative to start a sexually assault survivor clinic the first ever in the country which was successfully replicated in university hospitals and developed management guideline towards that effect. I have been the Editor-in-chief of the Ethiopian journal of health development for 4 years and have been instrumental in developing two strategic documents of the society together with a mid- term evaluation of the strategic documents.

One of the most notable achievements, I would like to mention is that i have served as a lead in a number of initiatives to address the maternal health needs in the country. Among those the most notable are the CEMOC training and deployment of Obstetricians in rural underserved communities where more than 100,000 women who otherwise would not access maternal health services including caesarean section benefited. Besides in an MDSR project involving 50 health centres and 10 hospital , I was able to introduce quality improvement activities in order to provide better maternal care.

Back in the days when unsafe abortion was rife in the country contributing for about 34% of the MMR in Ethiopia, together with other stake holders I have advocated for a more favourable law emphasizing the health imperative. This has resulted in the abortion law revision in 2005. I continued to participate in the writing of the technical and procedural guide to enable remove all admin barriers so that women can access safe and comprehensive SRHR service. The guide has been revised twice and I am one of the co-authors. I am active in the national SRHR working group and the National Immunization technical Advisory group and where i played a role in the introduction of HPV vaccines to girls to prevent cervical cancer.

Together with my colleagues, I have produced the following guideline for national use and have been endorsed by the Federal ministry of health. These includes:  National Family Planning Guideline, Management guideline on selected obstetrics and Gynecology topics. a national Guideline, Training module on comprehensive Abortion Care to health workers In Ethiopia, second revised edition ,National Guideline for the management of Victims of Sexual assault,, Documenting Best Practices : the Ethiopian Experience available at www.ibpinitiative.org

Currently I am the clinical service director of one the premier institution in the country for the last four years, a senate member of my university  which has given me the unique opportunity to meet high level policy maker in Health and higher education to contribute to the betterment in both.

In recognition of my contribution, ESOG in its 25thannual meeting and silver Jubilee has given an award of distinguished service and life time achievement for SRHR in the country. I have been recognized by my students as best instructor, recognized as a champion of health by Ipas.

On the international arena , I have served as the first and founding president of the African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AFOG) successfully conducted the first and second annual meeting of the federation. Together with my team liaised with WHO AFRO for WHO to support AFOG. I am also currently an international board member of IPAS. I had collaboration work with WHO HQ as head of a collaborating centre from 2004 to 2006 and later on implementing best practices (IBP). I have participated and contributed to Task shifting document in a series of meeting and discussion. I have collaborated with PATH and WHO in maternal Influenza vaccination. I have been World Medical Association (WMA) council member on behalf of Africa when I was the president of the Ethiopian Medical Doctors Association.

I have collaborated with Ipas and Gutmacher institute in the conduct of three studies of national scale two of which were in Ethiopia and one conducted in Malawi and are published in peer reviewed journals. I have attended a number of meetings at international level in many countries and have made contributions as a speaker.

I have been an Executive Board member of FIGO from 2013 to 2016 and I have served as Officer of FIGO between 2016 and 2019. As an executive board, I have attended all the meetings and made my level best contribution in the biannual two days meetings. As an officer, I had a unique opportunity to know FIGO, how it conducts its business and the different committees and working groups. I had the privilege in participating in NCD , fistula and safe abortion working groups. I have represented FIGO on regional meetings to increase its visibility and show the proximity of FIGO to member countries."