Redda Tekle Haimanot

Professor Redda Tekle Haimanot is a Rotarian heavily involved in polio eradication throughout Africa. A retired neurologist, Professor Redda operates hospitals in Ziway and Butajira, Ethiopia, through his organization, Grarbet Tehadiso Mahber. His hospitals service an area of 1,600,000 people and they receive no government funding.

Professor Redda’s hospitals serve people who, under normal conditions, could not afford the healthcare services they receive there. In these hospitals, Professor Redda and his team perform what seem like miracles, giving sight to the blind, helping the deaf to hear, providing medicine for epileptics who had been told they were possessed by the devil. The poor are treated with dignity, respect, and love, and lives are saved and forever changed.

The government describes Professor Redda as a gift from God. How very appropriate! He is a kind, patient man who sees everyone as important and takes the time to help the ill and disabled feel comfortable and confident. Hundreds of thousands of people have been through his hospitals to receive his unassuming, low-cost care. For many, their lives would have ended without this care; instead, they are reborn to new invigorating existences, thanks to Professor Redda.

We are very proud to be a partner with Professor Redda, providing funding for the purchase and procurement of much-needed medical equipment for his hospitals. In addition, we are involved with him in a comprehensive program to dig bored (hand-dug) water wells, which serve many purposes. Professor Redda and his organization strongly support initiatives to provide safe drinking water as they are a key way of lowering disease rates.

The government describes Professor Redda as a gift from God.

Bored wells are usually dug to a depth of about 30 metres. At that point they provide a clean, reliable source of water. The community usually digs the first eight metres as its contribution. After this depth (for safety reasons) professional well diggers are brought in to complete the work. The cost of each well is approximately US$3,000, including pump and concrete rings. The well can serve about 400 people in close proximity to their homes. At about $7.50 per person (about the cost of a beer in a lounge), the cost of providing people with clean, potable water so they don’t have to walk five to seven kilometres to acquire it is very reasonable.

This clean water initiative that we are proud to be involved in fits in well with Professor Redda’s strong support for the eradication of trachoma through the implementation, wherever possible, of the WHO’s SAFE strategy, where S=surgery, A=antibiotics, F=face washing, and E=environmental sanitations.

Countless people in Ethiopia have benefited from Professor Redda’s work and heart.

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