Mekelle University — Ethiopia
WFF is dedicated to improving the capacity of low-resource countries to address childbirth injuries by building local medical programs. Through local and international partnerships, we develop high-quality, in-country medical education. Since 2013, our Ethiopian partner for in-country medical education programming has been the College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. We have funded and supported several programs designed to increase local medical expertise to prevent and treat childbirth injuries.
Mekelle Medical Education Collaboration (MMEC, 2013 – 2018)
In 2013, WFF began holding annual medical conferences at Mekelle University to provide enhanced obstetrics and gynecology education to students, residents and faculty at the university. For one week each summer, WFF Founder, Dr. Lewis Wall, and guest experts in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urogynecology, and additional specialties teach enhanced curriculum to benefit local medical professionals. Approximately 80-100 students, residents, faculty and visitors from other institutions attend each of the classes provided.
This collaboration was vital to developing the Mekelle University OB-GYN residency program. In December 2016, the first five graduates chose to stay on as Mekelle University faculty to increase the institution’s capacity to train future students while also providing patient care through the university’s Ayder Referral Hospital. The MMEC introduced numerous U.S. and International physicians to service in Ethiopia, many of whom remain engaged and made repeat trips. Participating MMEC lecturers have included: WFF Board Members, Academic faculty (Washington University in St. Louis faculty, Oregon Health and Science University), and Internationally recognized experts.
Urogynecology Fellowship Training Program
In 2015 and in partnership with Mekelle University, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, Maternal Health Fund and Footsteps to Healing at Oregon Health & Science University (FH-OHSU), Ethiopia’s first Urogynecology Fellowship Program was launched. The 3-year program provides Urogynecology sub-specialty education comparable to Western standards with the goals of enabling graduates to 1) establish clinical centers of excellence to treat women with all types of urogynecologic disorders (not limited to fistula) and 2) develop additional training centers for sub-specialists in urogynecology. Four of seven Fellows have graduated with three more set to graduate next year. To date, Fellows have completed over 2000 non-fistula procedures during program trainings and back at their own institutions!
Meet Dr. Melaku
Director of Urogynecology Fellowship, Mekelle University
Dr Melaku Abreha, 2018 Urogynecology Fellowship graduate, is now the Director of the Fellowship. He develops the curriculum and the teaching schedule to increase local medical expertise in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr Melaku has completed intensive training in fistula surgery at the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital. He is currently Director of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia’s Mekele center. Together with the Regional Health Bureau, Dr Melaku Abreha has established a variety of programs to train doctors and health officers in emergency obstetric care.
Hear from Dr Melaku
To Date you have helped Mekelle University accomplish so much!
Free surgical procedures done by fellows with Urogynecology training
Doctors, Nurses, and medical professionals trained