Tsegaye Melaku – Researcher of the Month

Tsegaye Melaku

How do we ensure people in Ethiopia and across the world have access to the medicines they need?

Why is your research important?

As a result of COVID-19, Ethiopia suffers from a lasting shortage of paracetamol and medicines for chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This has serious consequences for the health and quality of life of millions of people.

Together with researchers from BI and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health I study how we can secure the supply and affordability of essential medicines even during public health crises such as Covid.

What do you want to contribute to changing in business or society?

Millions of people around the world suffer because they cannot access or afford the medicines they need, especially in developing countries. To improve affordability and security of supply, pharmaceutical companies, governments, and organizations must find better ways to work together.

It is necessary to see different markets in relation to each other. We cannot have a situation where Norway focuses exclusively on Norway, Germany only on Germany and Ethiopia on Ethiopia. We need some level of cooperation to ensure drugs and other medical supplies end up where they’re most needed.

How do you use research to engage your students?

It is very important that health care professionals and clinicians base their practice on scientific evidence. To help my students understand this, I use a lot of case studies, which address the causes, involved parties, consequences and solutions to drug shortages.

What would you do if you couldn't be a researcher?

Both of my parents are farmers, so I would probably be a strong farmer like them.

Read more about BI's research on medical supply chains

Measures for Improved Availability of Medicines and Vaccines

The COVID Project


Published 21. November 2022

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