Yetnayet Asfaw Demessie

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights | Ethiopia

2014 New Voices Fellow


A physician by training, Asfaw has dedicated her professional and personal life to advancing the cause of girls and women for the past 18 years.  As country director for EngenderHealth, her primary foci are encouraging family planning, promoting maternal health and ensuring quality of health care.  She also led the first USAID supported project for the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in Ethiopia while working for IntraHealth. She has worked in public health for the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, as well as various NGOs. Asfaw also has an interest in promoting women and girls’ education, since she credits her successful career with her own access to a high quality education.  “Basic life-saving services such as family planning should be made available and accessible to all women,” Asfaw says. “The time to invest is now. Tomorrow will be too late for many women.