Annual Jakes Gerwel Award

Jakes Gerwel Award in Public Health 2018 - Amir Aman Hagos

The 2018 recipient of the Jakes Gerwel Award was  Dr Amir Aman Hagos, now the Minister  of  Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia who graduated with an MPH in 2013. Dr Amir registered for his MPH as a 25-year-old hospital director in one of  the  worst  performing  and poorly-resourced hospitals in a remote part of Ethiopia. He set about transforming it into a model hospital for the rest of the country through introducing pioneer governance and accountability systems,  mobilising community, and promoting patient- centred care and primary health care. 

Jakes Gerwel 2018 Amir Amar hagos









During his studies Dr Hagos requested a transfer to the Ministry of Health’s human resources department (his area of MPH specialisation), from where he quickly moved from Director of Human Resources Development to Director General of Planning, Policy and Finance – then to State (Deputy) Minister. In May 2018 he was appointed Minister of Health.

Under his leadership the health sector has  seen  many significant successes, particularly in  the  area of maternal and child health and human resource development. The number of medical schools has increased from 13 to 32, the enrolment of medical student has grown from less than 1,000 in to 3,100  per annum, and an additional 9,000 health extension workers have been deployed throughout the country. Internationally, Dr Amir serves as co-chair of WHO’s Transforming International Health Partnership for Universal Health Coverage 2030 which is dedicated to building partnerships to strengthen health systems, and is a member of numerous related committees. He is also Board Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Africa, and a Board member of Gavi Vaccine Alliance.

Watch recording of the award ceremony and the public lecture.

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: