project support | other Canadian collaborators | Ethiopian universities

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In 2005, CNIS launched a new 2 year innovation project to establish surgical learning centers at six Universities in Ethiopia. The Universities in the project established learning centers dedicated to surgical and obstetrical care at the end of the project. The project also had an institutional capacity building component where surgical department staff attended workshops in management, leadership and fund raising skills.

The project built on results of previous efforts, intended to promote long term capacity building in obstetrical and surgical operations and care. The learning centres now enable  universities to train and certify primary care physicians, surgeons, instructors, and other health professionals, as well as build up their institutional capacity (fund raising, creating linkage, etc.) The centres provide growing support for hospitals, health centers, and clinics across Ethiopia to address critical health needs of the population.

Project Support

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) granted $200,000 for the project. The Toronto Chapter of the Ethiopian North American Health Professionals Association (ENAHPA) matched the CIDA funds for this project, providing $100,000 for the project. CNIS agreed to provide obstetrical and essential skills training to assist ENAHPA’s safe motherhood project in Awassa. Dr. Haregua Getu, former CNIS board member was the ENAHPA chair in Toronto.

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Other Canadian Collaborators

The Office for International Surgery, University of Toronto joined the African Canadian Committee for ESS as a mechanism to collaborate with the CNIS and its African Partners. The U of T had a post graduate program in Surgical Education which is appropriate to augment Ethiopian leadership in surgical instruction at the six universities. The U of T had sufficient capacity for six Ethiopian surgeons over three years and would seek funding from CSIH. Dr. Andrew Howard, CNIS board member, was and still is CNIS’ link with the Office of International Surgery.

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The Universities in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa University (AAU) is one of the largest higher learning institutions in Africa that was established at the end of the 1940s. The Department of Internal Medicine was established in 1964 immediately following the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine.

Gondar UniversityThe Gondar College of Medical Sciences is located in Gondar, once the capital city of Ethiopia in the North-western part of the country. The college is the oldest health professional training institute in Ethiopia, first established as Public Health College in 1954. The concept, which led to the establishment of the college, was based upon the immediately felt needs for health services in rural Ethiopia. The country had at that time, very limited health service facilities and trained manpower therefore health services were very inadequate. To meet this urgent demand in as short time as possible, a training program of a rather unique nature was devised.

Jimma University – The University adopted the town’s name for logically sound reasons. For one thing, Jimma is one of the biggest towns in the country noted for its coffee production. Secondly, Jimma was the seat of the King of the Five Gibe States during the 19th century. The University is situated in the neighborhood of the ex-palace, now an open museum.

Alemaya University is located about 510 Km from Addis Ababa in the Eastern Hararghe Zone at a distance of about 20 km and 40 km from the two nearby towns: Harar and Dire Dawa respectively. The University overlooks the beautiful lake Alemaya from which it derives its renowned name.

Mekelle University – The College of Health Sciences (CHS) is one of the new establishments of teaching institutions within the Mekelle University system, officially established at the beginning of the year 2003. The College is located at AIDER Campus, South-East of Mekelle – the capital of the Regional State of Tigray.

Debub University located in Awassa is a young institution established in 1999. It was formed by bringing together three already existing colleges in southern Ethiopia: Awassa College of Agriculture (ACA), Dilla College of Teachers Education & Health Sciences (DCTEHS) and Wondo Genet College of Forestry (WGCF). Before the University came into existence, these three colleges were operating independently and had their own historical background.
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