Posts filed under ‘Health’
By Marthe Van Der Wolf
ADDIS ABABA — 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.
Ethiopia has a rich tradition of independent, intelligent women. From the Queen of Sheba to wedding gown designer Amsale Aberra, these women have helped shaped the cultural and historical trajectory of Ethiopia and beyond. The seven women on this list are members of an extraordinary generation of diasporan Ethiopians who are flourishing throughout the world, in large part thanks to the sacrifices and dedication of their parents. Many of them left Ethiopia during the political upheaval of the mid 1970′s. They have since found their places on North American soil, even while remaining connected to their Ethiopian roots.
All seven women, and many of their equally successful peers, can be found in Tsehai Publishers’ new book, “Flowers of Today, Seeds of Tomorrow.” A complete project description and book preview is at: http://kck.st/RK9aNc
1. Sossina M. Haile. A graduate of MIT, Dr. Haile spends her days teaching and researching at CalTech, where she is Professor of Materials Science and of Chemical Engineering. She received attention, both from the scientific community and from media sources such as Newsweek, in 2007 after she discovered a way to create a new type of solid-acid fuel cell. Dr. Haile’s focus on creating new solar-derived forms of fuel stems from her philosophical approach to science: “As you add to the body of knowledge, what can you do with it that is truly useful and exciting, that can actually change people’s lives?”
2. Mimi Alemayehou. In 2010, US president Barack Obama appointed Mimi Alemayehou Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Before that, Mimi was the first African-born person to ever serve as US Executive Director for the African Development Bank. Mimi put herself through college working 40 hours per week as a hotel clerk and diligently pursuing opportunities such as US Senate internships. Her career in politics stems directly from personal experience: “For Ethiopians of my generation who lived through the early years when there was so much political turmoil . . . it seemed like politics controlled our destiny so much,” she explains.
3. Fanna Haile Selassie. Fanna Haile Selassie is a broadcast journalist for ABC-affiliated WSIL-TV, a station serving southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and southeast Missouri. The daughter of Ethiopian immigrants who came to the United States to attend university and were unable to return due to the Red Terror, Fanna began her journalism career in college. She rose quickly through the ranks of local television stations in Minnesota before landing regional work. She focuses on political stories and hosts a short weekly segment on political issues. “I actually find new role models almost on a weekly basis in my career. I have told many stories about strong women breaking barriers,” she says of her work.
4. Weyni Mengesha. An award-winning theater director and dramaturge, Weyni founded both the Sound the Horn Leadership Program and the annual Selam Youth Festival in order to bring together artists of Canadian, Ethiopian, and Eritrean origin. She also co-directs The A.M.Y Project, an annual theater training program for young women. Weyni rose to prominence in the theater world when she directed Trey Anthony’s Da Kink in My Hair, which ran at the Toronto Fringe Festival and Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theater, Canada’s most prestigious venue. Among her numerous other credits, she directed Hosanna at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2011. Weyni’s productions continue to earn her accolades and awards from theater critics in Toronto and beyond.
5. Meklit Hadero. Singer and songwriter Meklit Hadero combines jazz, soul, hip-hop, art rock, and folk traditions of America and East Africa to create her own unique sound. Her 2010 Album, “On A Day Like This,” attracted attention from music lovers and NPR, PBS, and National Geographic. She studied political science at Yale, and served as an artist in residence at New York University, the DeYoung Museum, and the Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. Meklit is the founder of Arba Minch Collective, a group of diasporan artists who perform in Ethiopia in collaboration with local artists. Meklit became a TED Global Fellow in 2009 and a TED Senior Fellow in 2012.
6. Mehret Mandefro. Dr. Mandefro earned her M.D. at Harvard Medical School, where she began studying HIV and AIDS, not just on a medical level, but also in social and psychological terms, examining how the disease affects communities and individuals. Her work in communities led Mehret to co-found Truth Aids, an organization that uses ethnographic research to produce multimedia content to spur social change. Through documentaries and narrative films, Mehret explores the issues she examines in research and field work. A former White House Fellow, she continues to serve as an advisor for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mehret is an instructor at George Washington University’s School of Public Health.
7. Alfa Demmellash. Alfa Demmellash is the founder of Rising Tide Capital, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping entrepreneurs find their footing. Based in Jersey City, New Jersey, the organization offers courses in starting and running a small business, and helps participants in the program secure funding for their business ventures. Demellash was inspired to help entrepreneurs by her mother, who attempted to obtain small business loans when Alfa was an adolescent, but gave up after becoming frustrated with the endless red tape and bureaucratic complexity of the process. For her efforts with Rising Tide, Demmellash was selected for CNN’s “Hero” series and received recognition from President Obama.
THE NUMBERS: World unemployment totals, ILO estimates -
2007 171 million
2008 176 million
2009 197.7 million
2010 197.3 million
2011 197.2 million
WHAT THEY MEAN:
Is it correct to say that a thing which goes up must then come down? In the case of unemployment, perhaps yes, but only slowly. America’s case is an example: In January 2008, 7.7 million American men and women were out of work; by January 2009 the total had jumped to 12 million; it then continued to climb to its peak of 15.2-million (or 9.9 percent) by April 2010. Since then the tide of joblessness has receded – to 14.4 million in December 2010 and 13.1 million (or 8.5 percent) as of December 2011. Thus it is taking much longer to retrieve the jobs than it took to lose them.
How does this look in global context? The American circumstances are not, in fact, at all unusual. The ILO’s gloomy Global Employment Trends 2012, released in mid-January, estimates worldwide unemployment at 197.2 million – still more than 27 million above the decade’s low point of 171 million in 2007, and only a shade below the 197.7 million of crisis-stricken 2009. The OECD likewise, as it looks in more detail at its 34 wealthy and middle-income member countries, finds unemployment peaking at 45 million in 2009 and declining only to 44.7 million since. The ILO’s forecast for the coming year is uninspiring:
“The baseline projection shows no change in the global unemployment rate, which would lead to an additional 3 million unemployed around the world, giving a total of 200 million in 2012.”
So: unemployment is beginning to come down from the crisis peaks in the United States, even if less rapidly than one would hope. Abroad, it’s nearly as high as ever.
Data sources – world, rich-country, and United States -
Measles, a highly contagious and serious disease, still wreaks havoc on Africa due to poverty and ignorance. A United Nations spokesperson said on Friday that 17,584 people have contracted this disease and 114 have died from it in Ethiopia, reported CBS.
The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million Ethiopian children are at risk of contracting this disease. Meanwhile, there have been at least 462 cases among Somali refugee children.
Cases of measles have also been reported in the US, some of which resulted from traveling to foreign countries.
Measles is an airborne virus that infects the respiratory system. It causes fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and rashes. The infection weakens the body and causes fatal complications like pneumonia.
In many ways, measles is a poor country’s disease.
Simple immunizations are highly effective against it. In most industrialized countries, virtually the entire population is immunized, which makes the contraction of this disease even less likely.
In case of contraction, there is no cure. However, measles patients in developed countries are placed in supportive care and doctors are active in combating complications.
In poor countries like those in sub-Saharan Africa, however, immunization is inconsistent and living conditions are often unsanitary and overcrowded.
Upon contraction, many patients received inadequate treatment. Moreover, some of them are already mal-nutritioned or have debilitating diseases like AIDS.
Governments in developing countries and charitable organizations are aware of this problem and often run campaigns to immunize and educate the population. Nevertheless, measles is still a serious and fatal problem in many parts of sub-Sahara Africa.
Source: International business Times