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Tizta Tilahun Degfie

75 Public Votes Reached!
Tizta Tilahun Degfie - 2017 Nominee
Position: Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Organization: African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Current Location: Kenya -Nairobi
PhD in Social Health Sciences: Medical-Social Sciences from Ghent University, Belgium (November 2014)
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
 Master of Science in Population Studies specialized in Reproductive Health, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (August 2006)
 Certificate on Policy Brief writing: Population Reference Bureau, Policy Communications Fellowship 2013-2014.Washington DC, USA. (2014)
 Research Fellow at Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI), Providence, USA (April-May 2014).
 Certificate on Health Monitoring and Evaluation: Jimma University and Tulane University, Addis Ababa Ethiopia (2007).
 Certificate on Reproductive Health and Development: School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute, Addis Ababa (January 28- February 8, 2008)
 Certificate on participation in the 2013 institute on 35 years of advances in HIV/AIDS: Brown International Advanced Research Institute (April 2013)
 Board member and Secretary of Family Guidance Association Ethiopia (FGAE), Jimma Ethiopia (2009-2011) and Life time member.
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Canada Youth Training and Research Award
    Awarding Organization:
    Canada Embassy Ethiopia
    Date Awarded:
    January 15, 2008
Dr.Tizta Tilahun is distinguished researcher and mentor in the area of male involvement in family planning. She has published several peer reviewed articles and policy briefs. She is an alumni of BIARI and current post doc scientist at APHRC, Nairobi – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

My passion is working to translate the evidence, generating about how to change behaviors in rural communities in Ethiopia with respect to pregnancy and childrearing into smart policy decisions that can reduce infant and maternal mortality. For the past 10 years I have done several research in family planning, participate in community engagements, and presented findings to national and international audiences. The emphasis of my postdoctoral work at the APHRC, is looking towards the Demographic Dividend of African countries – focusing in youth contribution in reaping the window of opportunity- which will help me to show the importance of investing in family planning in realizing Sustainable Development Goals. I hope that my findings can help policy makers and other relevant stakeholders.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Maternal and new born mortality is common in Africa. In my community, most women deliver at home and complications at birth lead to death. My passion for family planning was solidified during my PhD thesis, when I studied male involvement in family planning in a remote village in southwest Ethiopia. I have studied, which is an interventional research for six month, aimed at behavioral change and awareness on the importance and cost-effectiveness of family planning in a poor resource setting.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Over the past ten years, I have mentored young researchers in the field by engaging them in research projects. While serving as secretary to the Board at the Ethiopian Family Guidance Association, I advocated for family planning services in southwest Ethiopia. I was also part of a study on abortion rates among university students in two institutions in Ethiopia. We were able to provide counselling and sexual and reproductive health services to the students based on the findings.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

If named winner of 120 under 40, I would use the opportunity to form networks and partnerships. I would also use the grant to initiate a proposal focused on teenage pregnancy and contraceptive use. This research will be done among small groups using qualitative methods. It will be helpful in identifying the needs and preferences of youth on contraceptive use.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work
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