CureBlindness | Dr. Tiliksew Teshome Tessema Wins Unsung Hero Award
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Dr. Tiliksew Teshome Tessema Wins Unsung Hero Award

profiles | Apr 30, 2021

​Overcoming obstacles to bring care to those in need, Dr. Tiliksew Teshome Tessema exemplifies what it means to be a hero.

In recognition of his persistence and success in bringing retinal surgery to Ethiopia, the American Academy of Ophthalmology selected HCP partner Dr. Tiliksew as an Unsung Hero Award recipient.

It can be difficult to gain momentum as the first person to institute a new system or way of thinking. Others may discourage you or see only failure when you see the promise beyond the challenges. Recognizing an unmet need in eye care in Ethiopia, Dr. Tiliksew was determined to develop vitrectomy surgery capabilities to improve eye health in his country. Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the gel that fills the eye so that the retina is easier to access and repair. Fourteen years ago, Dr. Tiliksew was successful in establishing the first vitreo-retinal surgical center in Ethiopia.

Dr. Tiliksew at Work

One of Dr. Tiliksew’s most memorable experiences with HCP was an outreach he participated in in Bisidimo where he volunteered as a cataract surgeon. Together, the team completed over one thousand cataract surgeries in 6 days. Dr. Tiliksew personally performed 275 cataract surgeries in 4-and-a-half days.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Tiliksew has tirelessly mentored and trained residents in ophthalmology at Addis Ababa University, one of the programs that is supported by HCP. Dr. Tiliksew is currently an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Addis Ababa University (AAU), the past head of the Department of Ophthalmology at AAU, and a past President of the Ophthalmological Society of Ethiopia.

Congratulations, Dr. Tiliksew on being recognized for your perseverance and continuing to improve eye health in Ethiopia!

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