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Vital Stories

Building a Community of Lung Health Specialists in Ethiopia

Vital Strategies’ East Africa Training Initiative (EATI) has made great strides in recent months in its goal to provide medical training to Ethiopian doctors in the area of lung health.  EATI gives state-of-the-art chest medicine training to Ethiopian fellows by recruiting faculty from leading medical schools in Europe and America to teach them in Addis Ababa.

In May, the Initiative held a successful fundraiser in Bethesda, Maryland in the home of Sam Parsia, a volunteer faculty member. The event raised $11,000 to support program activities and purchase new equipment for the pulmonary diagnostic unit at Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa.

The EATI team also had the pleasure of congratulating Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on his election to the office of Director General of the World Organization.  Ghebreyesus was an early supporter of EATI and helped plan the initiative in its early days.

On the ground, the current group of Ethiopian fellows, which includes three second year fellows and three first years, are all demonstrating excellent progress in their clinical work, and have established a successful bronchoscopy unit that is capable of performing lung biopsies on patients with complex illnesses.  The program also recently expanded its scope with the training of its first non-Ethiopian participant.  The Ugandan, Daniel Muyanja, spent 6 weeks this past academic year at Black Lion Hospital developing skills in Bronchoscopy with the EATI faculty.

Recent graduates, too, have already started making an impact on the Addis Ababa medical community, with several graduates taking leadership positions at hospitals in and around Addis Ababa.  The program’s two most recent graduates, Tewedros Haile and Dawit Kebede have both joined the faculty of Black Lion Hospital and the Addis Ababa University School of Medicine.  Haile is the new director of Black Lion’s Pulmonary Unit, and Kebede now heads the hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit.  In addition to their new medical positions, the two graduates travelled to Washington in May, 2017 for the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference where they presented research from projects they had conducted as a part of EATI.

Vital Strategies’ East Africa Training Initiative continues to provide life-saving training in chest medicine to Ethiopian doctors, and has built a solid foundation upon which to achieve its goals.

Learn more about the East Africa Training Initiative.