Dr. Yigeremu Abebe Asemere is a Vice President and is the Country Director in Ethiopia for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Dr. Yigeremu joined CHAI in 2006, and remains committed to leading the large Ethiopia country program in saving the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS and other preventable and treatable diseases.
Dr. Yigeremu received his undergraduate degree from the Addis Ababa University medical faculty in 1982, and began his career working in the military health services as a general practitioner for two years before receiving his postgraduate diploma in internal medicine in 1988. During his residency program, Dr. Yigeremu was the first to present on the potential threat of HIV/AIDS to Ethiopia, and since that time has dedicated his life to fighting the epidemic in his country.
Prior to joining CHAI, Dr. Yigeremu worked in the Army Health services in a variety of roles, serving as a general practitioner, an internist, a medical director for the referral hospital in Addis Ababa, and finally for five years as the Director of Health Services for the Ethiopian Army. During this time, Dr. Yigeremu organized a strong prevention and treatment program for Army staff and families; the program has been recognized among the best of its kind. He also wrote AIDS policies for the Army and worked with a broad spectrum of partners on implementation of the Army AIDS program. At the national level, he led a number of committees that wrote the national policy on AIDS, ART guidelines, and treatment guidelines and protocols.
After leaving the Army, Dr. Yigeremu organized and led the state-of-the-art fee HIV care and ART center at a major government hospital in Addis Ababa, in collaboration with a number of local and international partners. This free care program has been recognized for its comprehensive and community-based care approach that addresses patients’ basic needs and ensures adherence in an at-home environment.