News / Africa

Diaspora Doctors to Start Specialized Hospital in Ethiopia

A group of 150 Ethiopian doctors living abroad are constructing a hospital in their home country that will offer state-of-the-art medical treatment. This new hospital is designed to reduce the number of Ethiopians seeking medical facilities abroad.
 
The Ethio-American Doctors Group, an association of more than150 Ethiopian doctors in the diaspora, is realizing its dream: establishing an up-to-date hospital in their homeland that includes a medical school and a medical research center.
 
Dr. Yonas Legessa Cherinet of the Doctors Group said the new hospital will feature 27 medical specialties that currently are not offered in Ethiopia.
 
“There are a varieties of fields where service is very limited here. I could mention vascular surgery, urology, pulmonology, neuro-surgery and reproductive endocrinology, which is not available. So many doctors are coming in with so many specialities, there will be a core group of these specialists who will be coming here to lead some departments, to work here,” said Yonas.

The Doctors Group hopes that fewer Ethiopians will go abroad for medical help if they can be treated inside the country.   

Currently, many Ethiopians that can afford better treatment go to Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. The Bangkok Hospital in Thailand treated more than 6,000 Ethiopians in 2011 alone. A lot of money is involved, as the average treatment costs about $20,000.
 
Dr. Zelelam Abebe, who works in a private clinic in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, said there is a large need for first-class medical services in the country.
 
"I had to refer several people to hospitals abroad for different cardiac surgeries, brain surgery and advanced cancer cases,” he said.

Dr. Yonas said that providing for Ethiopians who might otherwise go abroad means the hospital will have to be run differently - and better - compared to most other facilities in the country.
 
“The reasons they mention [for going abroad] vary from the quality of care to the way they are treated in respect. So we want to bring a new culture here of medical care, which will be patient-centered,” said Yonas.

But with an average yearly income of $1,200, most Ethiopians will not be able to afford the treatments offered at the new facility. Yonas said money will be raised for those in financial need.
 
”We also have what we call the EDG fund, which will be taking 10 percent of our profit for people who cannot afford quality service,” he said.

Tariku Assefa is a general practicing doctor who works at the Black Lion Hospital, the largest hospital in Ethiopia, which also includes a medical school. He welcomes the idea of the new hospital, but hopes the new research facility will focus on diseases prevalent in Ethiopia.

“We use most of the research that were done in the western countries. We take example from America or other western countries because those research is done there. In most of the disease entity we don’t have our own figures, we use the figures of other people, which is somehow biased because the one which is in the West may not work for us,” said Tariku.
 
The hospital is scheduled to open its doors by 2016 and employ 300 to 400 people, of whom 50 will be physicians. Some doctors from the diaspora will return to Ethiopia, while others will commit several weeks per year to an exchange of knowledge with the hospital.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Berhe Berhane from: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
March 20, 2013 5:25 AM
The construction and setting up of modern hospital by the diaspora is a blessed idea that most of us Ethiopians would welcome with great admiration. It is a far sighted project that would touch the interest of each Ethiopian longing to see its mother land modernized. Many I seize this opportunity to congratulate the 'creator' of this long-awaited and unmatched idea. Keep the spirit up ! Berhe Berhane, AA, Ethiopia

by: desta from: India
February 25, 2013 10:09 PM
Good thought and expecting realization: Most Asian countries developed their different sectors by their concerned children living abroad. Those determined to develop their country didn't consider themselves as something gift from God as savior for poor country rather responsible. You folks if you really determined to realize as you said, feel responsible.

Do not consider themselves as doing favor for our Ethiopian. You have to see this as opportunity to cleanse your guilty of being left your country and poor people seeking more better life. To reach this level this country and people sacrifice for you, sharing large amount for you- know this is your duty not your gift. I heard previously about one project 'Mela hospital' by diaspora doctors but nothing on land. I hope yours will not be like that.

by: Kiros
February 25, 2013 7:45 AM
That sounds good. But we need to ask why the doctors left their country in the first place. I bet 150 is only a fraction of hundreds more who have emigrated West in the past two decades.

by: observer
February 22, 2013 7:04 PM
good start . . .
I would spend on education as well - some one has to spend quite a big some of money on medical education in Ethiopia - both on quality and quantity.
There are many motivated young kids in high school - but there must be an avenue and a system that takes these kids, train, educate and motivate them and provide them the appropriate channels to grow up professionally. I would have liked to be a doctor, for example and the country had enormous shortages. And I knew many good students back then who would have wanted to . But very few students had the chances.
Building a university in the middle of nowhere where no one wants to go and teach is not really the solution. The result will be an army of badly trained graduates!!!

Young doctors who go to the rural areas should be paid more and there must be a limit for how long they should serve. A year or two is a good practice. We must also develop the culture of volunteerism and reward those who volunteer in rural areas. We can create a system that makes volunteerism prestigious much like the peace corps or teach for America.
Mentor the young and upcoming - the future relies on them.
Ethiopia should enormously invest on educating its young!!!

by: Diaspora Pundit from: Washington, DC
February 22, 2013 9:37 AM
VOA, is everything OK? String of positive stories on Ethiopia, very unlike you...Please get well soon, and back to spinning the doom and gloom.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs