21 September 2017

WHO Director-General the first to receive new Danida Alumni Prize

“The time I spent as a Danida Fellow was so valuable. My first experience of universal health coverage was in Denmark”, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said in his historic acceptance speech for the Danida Alumni Prize 2017. The award ceremony was part of Danida Fellowship Centre's 25 years celebrations 31 August in Frederiksberg

The Danida Alumni Prize is a newly inaugurated prize to be awarded annually to an alum who has made a significant contribution to positive change in his or her home country or professional field based on his or her studies in Denmark.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was a Danida fellow in 1988 at the then Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory in Copenhagen, was the very first Danida alum to receive the newly inaugurated prize.

Ms Ulla Tørnæs, Minister of Development Cooperation presented the prize. Ms Anne Christensen, Director Danida Fellowship Centre read the motivation.

The motivation to award Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the Danida Alumni Prize was that he as Minister of Health from 2004-12, propelled unparalleled positive change in Ethiopia’s health system, including building up a strong community health workforce. 

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was responsible for the training of around 40,000 women in the healthcare sector, the establishment of an organized ambulance system and special centres for reproductive health. During Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ term as minister the infant mortality rate in Ethiopia fell significantly.

In 2016, the Danida Fellowship Centre launched the Danida Alumni Network. Since the 1960s, about 20,000 men and women from 120 countries in the Global South have been granted Danida fellowships to study in Denmark.

Read the full acceptance speech by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

See the photos on Facebook from the 25 years anniversary of Danida Fellowship Centre in Frederiksberg and the Danida Alumni Prize 2017 award ceremony and find á Memory Lane gallery and speeches by Ms Ulla Tørnæs, Minister of Development Cooperation, Mr Holger Bernt Hansen, Prof. African Studies, Former Board Chair and  Ms Anne Christensen, Director, Danida Fellowship Centre at 25 years in Frederiksberg