General and Pediatric Surgery Research, Training and Capacity Building

Project Site Name:  Mekelle University and Ayder Hospital

Project Site Location:  Mekelle, Ethiopia

UIC CGH Faculty Contact:  Thomas Sims, MD

Project/Activity Summary:

Working with the adult and pediatric surgical teams to decrease complications, improve access to care, and establish ongoing clinical research and quality improvement.

Two years ago, there was only one public hospital in Ethiopia with a pediatric surgeon.  With the arrival of 3 newly-trained pediatric surgeons, Mekelle University (MU) became one of three institutions in the country with pediatric surgical capability.  There is a lot of work to do to catch up on a back-log of operative cases and improve access to surgical care for children in northern Ethiopia.  Our goal is to provide support to this new pediatric surgery program.  Projects in clinical care target improved efficiency in the OR and with OR supplies, decreased surgical site infections, increased NICU surgical care capacity, and introducing minimally invasive procedures.  We are collaborating with the Ayder Hospital pediatric surgeons to provide education and training to medical students and general surgery trainees at Mekelle University with the goal of Ayder Hospital becoming a pediatric surgery training program.  Finally, we are providing research support to build-up clinical research skill and expertise among the adult and pediatric surgical faculty.

Surgeons take a break from academic conferences to get some coffee

The Mela Project

Project Site Location: Mek’ele, Ethiopia

Project Site Partners: Mekelle University

UIC CGH Faculty Contact: Gelila Goba

Project/Activity Summary:

Mekelle University is a public higher education institution located in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia. Mekelle is one of the largest public universities in Ethiopia and student intake capacity has reached over 10% of the city’s population.

The Mela Project, a medical residency peering program created by Dr. Goba in collaboration with Mekelle University,, seeks to establish an “OB/GYN Center of Excellence” at Mekelle University, with expansion into South Sudan, Uganda, and Somaliland. The goal of the program is to increase the number of OB/GYNs in Ethiopia through resident training at Mekelle University.

The Mela Project was conceived in 2015 to support the Federal Ministry of Health’s efforts in starting an OB/Gyn residency program at Mekelle University that could support the education and training of OB/Gyn residents. The project has been supported by the Chicago-based IDP Foundation as well as a UIC Chancellor Seed Grant.