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"I chose ophthalmology because I had the opportunity to witness what high quality ophthalmology care and training could provide to Ethiopia and its people"
HCP endeavors to build sustainable eye care systems that function effectively over the long-term with minimal external involvement. One way we do this is by working closely with a variety of partner institutions and affiliated ophthalmologists around the world, providing top-rate education and training opportunities at all levels of ophthalmology. One such training opportunity was provided to Dr. Tesfaye Tadesse of Menelik II Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who is currently in the middle of a seven month subspecialty fellowship program in glaucoma at the University of Alberta, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences with Dr. Karim Damji.
Born and raised in Jijiga, Eastern Hararghe, which is currently the capital of the Ethio-Somali regional state, Dr. Tadesse received his medical and residency education in ophthalmology from Addis Ababa University, Faculty of Medicine in 2005 and 2015 respectively. Dr. Tadesse took time out of his busy training schedule to tell us about his ophthalmology journey.
“I chose ophthalmology as my life career when I was assigned to Menelik II Hospital, which is the largest and oldest ophthalmology center in the Ethiopia. During my time as a general practitioner and later as Medical Director of the hospital, I had the opportunity to witness just what high quality ophthalmology care and training could provide to the country first hand.
I heard about HCP while I was a resident. The ophthalmology department had an existing strong partnership with HCP, and we, the residents, benefited greatly by acquiring practical exposure from the HCP supported cataract campaigns and guest lectures. I’m currently pursuing an 18-month subspecialty fellowship in glaucoma at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. I am very grateful for HCP for sponsoring my study. HCP has covered my transportation, housing and living expense so far while the University of Alberta is providing the training.
The past decade has proven to be very pivotal in many aspects for eye care service in Ethiopia. Human and infrastructure capacity has shown incremental growth both in number and diversity. New surgical techniques in Cataract (transition from ECCE to SICS, familiarization of phaco), corneal transplant (PK, DSEK), Glaucoma (Ahmed tube, adjuvant antimetabolites), Retina, Pediatric and Oculoplastics has transformed the quality of surgical care. Similarly the diagnostic and therapeutic care have been influenced positively by the modern technologies in the field.
In the coming years I hope eye care will get the policy attention it deserves in Ethiopia so that the bottlenecks in budgeting, supply chains, quality care assurance, capacity building will be cleared and self reliant, affordable, sustainable and quality eye care will be available for all. Definitely this goal is quite ambitious, but achievable over time with partnerships like the one with HCP.”