Graphic with webinar title: The Humanitarian Impact of Conflicts on Maternal Health and Beyond: Lessons from Ethiopia

The Humanitarian Impact of Conflicts on Maternal Health and Beyond: Lessons from Ethiopia


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The ongoing conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region has led to a humanitarian crisis hitting all sides of the region. One major impact is on healthcare infrastructure, which has been particularly devastating for maternal health.

In this webinar event, panelists speak about the conflict's impact on healthcare in general and on maternal health in particular, the current emergency response to healthcare needs among internally-displaced populations, and the concept of health as a human right and how this is affected by conflicts.

On this World Humanitarian Day, join us for a group conversation with experts from Ethiopia and around the world.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility as part of the Women's Health Equity, Empowerment, & Leadership Series and the G4 Alliance.


Portrait of Barbara Frey

Barbara Frey, JD

Barbara A. Frey is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Global Studies and directs the Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota. Frey’s research interests include gun violence and human rights, disappearances and impunity in Mexico, immigration, and human rights advocacy, and she lectures and writes widely on these topics. From 2000-03, Frey served as an alternate member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. She was appointed Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission from 2003-06 to conduct a study on the topic of preventing human rights abuses committed with small arms and light weapons. Frey was Executive Director of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights from 1985-97.

Portrait of Joy Wright

Joy Wright, MD

Joy Wright is a Health Advisor with Medical Teams International. Dr. Wright qualified as a doctor at Nottingham University, UK and trained as a General Practitioner (GP/Family Medicine Physician) in Sheffield, Yorkshire. After volunteering with community health worker programmes in Uganda, Thailand and Myanmar, she moved into humanitarian health, including during the 2015 Ebola response for Save the Children, and from 2016-2020 in Iraq and Syria with Medair. She is currently based in London, UK and provides support and guidance to Medical Team’s health programmes as part of the Technical Team, with a focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Currently, she is providing support to the MTI team in Tigray, and she continues to work as a sessional clinician within the NHS.

Portrait of Rahel Nardos

Rahel Nardos, MD, MCR

Rahel Nardos is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School and Director of Global Women’s Health within the Center of Global Health and Social Responsibility. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Dr. Nardos moved to the US where she earned her Bachelor of Science in biopsychology from Franklin and Marshall College and attended medical school at the Yale School of Medicine. She also spent one year as a staff surgeon at the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula Hospital and its multiple satellite medical centers in Ethiopia where she served women with childbirth injuries, and has since supported the first formal Urogynecology Fellowship program in Ethiopia. Dr. Nardos currently serves on the board of the Worldwide Fistula Fund as chair of the programming committee. 

Portrait of Hayelom Kebede Mekonen

Hayelom Kebede Mekonen, PhD

Dr. Hayelom Mekonen is an associate professor in embryology at Mekelle University and served as acting executive director of Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital at Mekelle University in Ethiopia from November 2020 until May 2021. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Dr. Hayelom completed his undergraduate education and a masters in human anatomy at Addis Ababa University and went on to receive his PhD in Developmental Biology (Embryology) at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Following his training, he served as the head of public and international relations office from 2017-2017 and Chief Academic and research Dean from 2018-2020 at Mekelle School of Health and Sciences.