Cape Town — A South African university has lauded an Ethiopian health minister, Dr Amir Aman Hagos, for the country's "amazing progress in a number of sectors, particularly in the area of maternal and child health, and human resource development".
The University of the Western Cape gave him one of its "outstanding alumni" awards at a ceremony in Cape Town on Tuesday.
He earned a Master's degree in public health at the university. He is now the State Minister (Operations Section) in Ethiopia's health ministry.
The university's citation noted that when Dr. Amir registered for his degree in 2011, he was 25 years old. After graduating, he returned home.
"Soon after his graduation in 2013, he rose meteorically through the ranks of the ministry once more, and at 27 years old became one of the youngest deputy ministers in his country.
"Under his leadership, Ethiopia has made amazing progress in a number of sectors, particularly in the area of maternal and child health, and human resource development.
"He is acclaimed for championing and inspiring a new generation of health professionals through dedicated public service and inspiring volunteerism. His leadership in increasing the quality and expanse of medical services is considered a model for public service in Ethiopia, and internationally.
"He is renowned, also, for his major contributions towards the planning, development, deployment and utilisation of health professionals at all levels of service delivery.
"His work has led to the recruitment, training and deployment of an additional 9,000 health extension workers through Ethiopia's Health Extension Programme, an internationally hailed health-service delivery platform.
"Among other roles, Dr Amir serves as co-chair of the WHO Transforming International Health Partnerships Plus (IHP+), an initiative dedicated to strengthening health services in developing nations."
This report has been amended since initial publication to reflect correct use of the minister's name.