Kelemework Tafere Reda

Born and raised in Mekelle which is a vibrant town in Tigrai, Ethiopia, I pursued my elementary and high school education in the same town. In 1988, I moved to Addis Ababa to continue my university education and did my first and second degrees at Addis Ababa University, in the departments of Psychology and Sociology respectively. Since my graduation in 1992, I worked for two institutions of higher learning in Ethiopia, namely Haromaya University and Mekelle University. In 2002, I got a PhD scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and joined the University of Bonn, Center for Development Research where I stayed for three and half years to earn my doctorate degree. In 2006, I came back to Ethiopia to continued my teaching and research career, and worked at Mekelle University where I am still working as an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology. In 2014, I took a sabbatical leave and joined the University of South Africa (UNISA) as a visiting researcher for 2 years. It was indeed a privilege and an honor for me to work with distinguished scholars such as Prof. John Faris and Dr. Andreas Velthuizen at UNISA.   

Currently my research interest revolves around health and epidemiology where I look at the socio-cultural foundations of illness and wellbeing by addressing community perceptions, views as well as indigenous knowledge and practices. To this effect, I have recently had a chance to liaise with medical anthropologists in Europe as well as organizations like One-health/Horn which have similar interests in human and animal health. I have also participated in big research projects, including one which focused on an identified liver disease affecting some parts of Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. The project was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Health and I was part of a multidisciplinary team established at a national level to identify the root causes of the disease and provide sound and practical recommendations to deal with it.