Frontline Heroes

Nov 21, 2016

By: Yayne Hailu, Associate, External Relations

Heroes don’t always wear capes and fight dangerous villains. It’s not only soldiers, police, and firefighters risking their lives to protect citizens. Sometimes heroes are just ordinary people with an unwavering passion for what they do, paired with a deep compassion for others. In Ethiopia, some of these heroes are doctors, government officials, and community health workers who recognize the important roles they each play in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Take, for example, Melese Kitu, a 25 year-old trichiasis surgeon who works tirelessly to save rural and impoverished communities from succumbing to the advanced stages of blinding trachoma. For Melese, there is nothing more fulfilling than using his skills and knowledge as a surgeon to improve the lives of the poor. Likewise, Dashash Gabare is a health extension worker who works for a healthier future generation. Using her public health training, Dashash treats school children for NTDs and teaches them about ways to prevent the cycle of transmission, including vigilant hand washing.

The road to see the end of these diseases of neglect is long and challenging, but with the contributions of these frontline heroes, there is hope that we can collectively achieve this goal. Watch their stories and be inspired by their efforts to make a real difference.

For more on the Ethiopia program, watch this video about partnership in action.