Rebecca “Ribka” Berhanu, MD
Global Health Topics: TB, TB/HIV co-infection, TB diagnostics, drug-resistant TB
Country: South Africa
Dr. Berhanu is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher. She is originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She completed her undergraduate degree at Stanford University and her medical degree at the Baylor College of Medicine. Ribka did her clinical training in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and her fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina. She subsequently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Boston University School of Public Health.
Ribka’s research is focused on improving the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in high-burden countries. Her work is supported by an NIH K08 award to study the social networks and molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant tuberculosis transmission in two South African communities.
She is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was the clinical manager of a specialized drug-resistant TB treatment unit at Helen Joseph Hospital, a public teaching hospital in Johannesburg, where she continues to see patients on the infectious disease consult service. She has collaborated extensively with researchers from the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Unit (HERO) of the University of Witwatersrand examining linkage to care in drug-resistant tuberculosis, treatment outcomes and toxicity, and cost-effectiveness. Ribka has also worked closely with various South African research groups including the South African National Health Laboratory Systems and the Perinatal HIV Research Unit examining the clinical impact of new molecular diagnostics in tuberculosis.