Dr. Teguest Guerma became the latest person to receive the French Government’s highest medal; the Legion d’honeur. Dr Teguest is currently working on establishing a midwife college in Ethiopia as a social enterprise, which will train girls from rural locations to become midwives and help make a dent in maternal mortality.
Dr. Teguest, who started her career as a medical practitioner in Burundi in the mid-1980s, was awarded the Legion d’honeur on April 21, 2017. It was presented by French Ambassador to Ethiopia Frédéric Bontems at his residence in the presence of her family and friends.
The award was given to her for a life time achievement of supporting the most vulnerable and for the fight against HIV/AIDS. She has also contributed immensely in promoting the French language during her entire career.
Dr. Teguest holds a Medical Doctor degree with post-graduate degree in Infectious Diseases and a certificate of Epidemiology and is also a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
From June 2010 to December 2015, Dr. Teguest served as the Director General of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF).
Prior to joining AMREF, she was the Associate Director and later the Acting Director of the World Health Organization’s Global HIV and AIDS Department in Geneva Switzerland where she co-led the WHO 3×5 Initiative which made Antiretroviral treatment available to AIDS patients in developing countries.
She has over 25 years of experience in public health at the country, regional and global level in Africa, Asia, Europe and the US. She also served as the WHO Africa representative to the UN Headquarters, New York, USA, and a WHO representative in Nepal and Botswana.
Dr. Teguest also worked as a HIV/AIDS regional adviser for Africa and developed the first HIV AIDS regional strategy for the continent.