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Kassahun Alemu Gelaye

I am a public health specialist with expertise in cluster randomized trials, population-based household surveys, and epidemiology. I am currently the Research Coordinator and Senior Research and Fellowship Advisor at the HaSET Maternal and Child Health Research Program, a collaboration between Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC). I have extensive experience conducting epidemiological and qualitative health research in Ethiopia. As the coordinator of the Dabat Research Center in Ethiopia, I have experience conducting randomized community trials on enhanced community-based case management to increase access to pneumonia treatment in Ethiopia and population-based household surveys to estimate maternal, neonatal, and child mortality and morbidity. I have evaluated a home-based cervical cancer screening program to task shift screening programs to empowered women. I have designed and evaluated different household survey modules for measuring stillbirths and neonatal deaths. In the field of mHealth, our findings confirm the limited reach of ‘formal’ compared with ‘informal’ mHealth while only a few of the community health workers surveyed were using formal mHealth applications, most reported regularly using a personal cell phone for work-related purposes in a range of innovative ways. Vaccination coverage is challenging especially among internally displaced persons (IDPs), I also studied with colleagues on the effect of internal conflict on the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) among IDPs. Through my extensive collaborations with international institutions including HSPH and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and universities in Ethiopia, I have managed large teams of field staff, overseen study operations, and ensured high data quality.

With HaSET, I mentor 10 post-doctoral fellows and their research, leading the post-doctoral and implementation fellows on study methodology, analysis, and writing. As the research coordinator, I have been managing quality assurance of research studies, monitoring study progress, and collaborating with the data team on prioritizing data quality issues and improving data quality. In addition, I coordinate the “work in progress” schedule, support preparations, and moderate presentations. I have published more than 185 peer-reviewed articles. In addition to my own research, I have mentored 23 PhD students on infectious disease, trauma, chronic disease, and maternal, newborn, and child health. My experiences moderating national and international conferences, seminars, and scientific workshops have equipped me with communication and organization skills.