Dr Yeshigeta Gelaw Birhanu is a scholar, ophthalmic surgeon, researcher, public health advocate, panafricanist, amateur poet and expert in health care (hospital) and academic (university) leadership and management. He is a holder of a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Jimma University (Ethiopia), Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology (M.Med.Ophtha) from University of Nairobi (Kenya), International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) Fellowship in Glaucoma (United States), Vitreo-retinal Surgery Fellowship (Austria & Egypt).
Dr Birhanu serves as Chief Executive Director (Vice President) and Professor of Ophtalmology at College of Medicine and Health Sciences/Tibebe Ghion Specialised Hospital of Bahir Dar University (Ethiopia), associate editor of Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences (EJHS) and Deputy-Editor-In-Chief of Ethiopian Medical Journal (EMJ). He also served as a Dean of School of Medicine, Head of Department of Ophthalmology, and Head of Department of Health Planning and Health Service Management at Jimma University.
Dr Birhanu is a fellow of the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa College of Ophthalmology (FCOphth (ECSA)), member of the Ophthalmological Society of Ethiopia (OSE), member of the College of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA), member of the Ethiopian Medical Association (EMA), member of the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), and member of the Ophthalmology working group of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)-Africa Region.
Dr Birhanu has been honored with several awards including the OSE Award for outstanding contribution in Teaching, Leadership and Research to Advance Eye Care in Ethiopia, the ICO-Retina Research Foundation Helmerich Fellowship Global Award, Africa Ophthalmology Council (AOC) Travel Award, ICO Glaucoma Fellowship Training Award, German Ophthalmological Society Research Award, Sight First: Lions Club International-Germany Ophthalmology Scholarship Award, EMA Academic Excellence and Best Graduate Award, People-to-People (P2P) Ethiopia Academic Excellence Award, JU Gold Medal Award for Best Medical Graduate, JU Best Medical Intern Award in Internal Medicine, Menschen-for-Menschen Ethio-German Student Exchange Award, Getachew Bolodia Foundation (GBF) Fellowships Award to ‘Medical Student with Academic Excellence’, Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MoE) Award for Best Performer (All ‹A› Student) in Ethiopian ESLCE, and Top High School Student Award (9th-12th grade).
Dr Birhanu has also solo-authored an Eye Health Book in Amharic.