UM OBGYN & Global Reach departments launch resident training program in Ethiopia

With funding from the CDC lead by Dr. Senait Fisseha, the University of Michigan Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the UM Medical School Global REACH program started a partnership to strengthen maternal child health in Ethiopia. To meet the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals which aim to reduce by three quarters the number of maternal deaths and reduce by two-thirds the number of child deaths in low and middle income countries, an OBGYN residency training program at St. Paul Hospital and Millennium Medical College (SPHMMC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was launched on July 1st, 2012.  Seven residents were accepted into the program.  This endeavor has the potential to fundamentally alter the way physicians and allied health professionals are trained in low resource settings.

With a gracious donation of 1.5 million dollars from an anonymous foundation, family planning training will be integrated into medical education at SPHMMC in August.  This program plans to establish a three-prong training program at SPHMMC tailored to the unique roles and abilities of midwives, General Medical Practitioners, and OBGYN residents to increase the capacity of all three groups to offer safe abortion and contraception services.  Incorporating this training program will enable SPHMMC to become a Center of Excellence for women’s health in Ethiopia by allowing it to team-train midwives, General Medical Practitioners and OBGYN residents.  Not only will they provide these much needed service when they are deployed in to the rural areas, but will also become trainers and leaders in family planning, by engaging them in team training, advocacy and operational research.

Provost of SPHMMC, Dr. Mesfin Araya (MD PhD), visited Ann Arbor last week to sign the memorandum of understanding with the UM Medical School.  As OBGYN efforts are already underway, plans to expand into Anesthesiology and Pediatrics are hopeful for future partnerships between UM and SPHMMC.