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Addis Ababa University, College of Health Sciences Emergency Medicine Training, Tikur Anbesa Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa University (AAU) was founded in 1950, and the Faculty of Medicine was formally approved on March 26, 1963. The postgraduate training program began in 1979. Since then, it has produced several specialists in multiple fields. The Department of Emergency Medicine was established at Tikur Anbesa (Black Lion) Specialized Hospital (TASH) in 2010 in collaboration with AAU, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Toronto.

Historically, Ethiopia has not had the facilities, equipment, or personnel with the essential skills needed to support a coordinated emergency medical care system, as the basic infrastructure for delivering emergency care is lacking. The country has made significant improvements in training key emergency medical professionals in the last two decades. Nevertheless, much remains to be done, and numerous opportunities exist to make additional improvements in both the short and long term.

Currently, emergency training is primarily based at TASH, a 700-bed hospital and the largest tertiary care hospital in the country. A separate eight-story building is in the final stages of construction for the emergency department in collaboration with AAU and the College of Health Sciences. It started with the Emergency Medicine Task Force, which was established in June 2006 by the AAU Faculty of Medicine and has closely worked with the Federal Ministry of Health and Addis Ababa City Council Health Bureau. Some of the developments since then include the following:

  • Emergency departments have been established at TASH 
  • EM services have been restructured by the Federal Ministry of Health 
  • Emergency care has been considered a crucial service in hospitals, along with outpatient and inpatient services 
  • Prehospital care initiatives have begun and have expanded to other regions (EM training takes the largest share in this expansion)
  • EM residency and master’s degrees in EM and critical care nursing have been established 
  • Emergency medicine technicians have been trained through prehospital care initiatives in various regions of Ethiopia 
  • An EM module has been included in the current undergraduate medical education since 2013 
  • The Ethiopian Society of Emergency Professionals has been established with members from different categories of EM

In all these developments, the EM training center in the emergency department of AAU has played a key role in training personnel.

Since its establishment, the Department of Emergency Medicine has produced six batches of EM specialists, who are currently working throughout the country and establishing emergency centers. So far the department has 40 graduates in EM in addition to hundreds of master’s nursing graduates in EM and critical care. Three years ago, the graduates started a second residency program at another center in Addis Ababa, Saint Paulo’s Millennium Medical College.

The program’s intake capacity originally ranged from 5–6 residents per year, and it grew to 18 residents in 2015. Currently, there are more than 30 residents specializing in the field. Ethiopia needs more physicians and staff working in EM, and the Department of Emergency Medicine is continuously working to improve the number and quality of graduating specialists. The department is currently running three programs: an EM residency and EM master’s in nursing as well as an undergraduate EM clerkship.

As all of the graduates from the Department of Emergency Medicine are involved in setting up new programs, research, and leadership, Rosh Review will be an invaluable tool to further their evidence-based medicine training. Its benefit will be enormous in the program, as it is a tool for free open access medical education, as well as for CME. Rosh Review will help the increasing number of residents who have limited access to such tools.

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