Ethiopia Trip Update

This Fall I returned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for my second trip to help kids with facial deformities.

The Black Lion Hospital is the only Head & Neck Surgery resident training program in Ethiopia. The residency program is still in its infancy and will graduate it first class of chief residents in January of 2014. The residents work at both The Black Lion Hospital and The Yekatit 12 Hospital in Addis Ababa. We have been working closely with the Department faculty, led by the Chairman, Dr. Kabede and the former Chairman Dr. Abebe to help develop the residency curriculum and train residents. We have given training the form of both classroom didactics as well as instruction in the clinic and operating room.

It was a honor to be asked by the Department to be a Board Examiner of the five chief residents. Dr. Phillip Chaffin, a colleague from the University of Minnesota, and myself prepared oral board cases to assess the residents’ knowledge of otolaryngology. Residents’ performance scores were reported to the Chairman and will be large part evaluation of the graduation.

We performed multiple head and neck surgeries on this mission. On our first morning in the Yekatit 12 clinic, we saw about 50 patients with the residents and faculty. We signed many up for surgery. Unfortunately, we were not able to operate on all of the patients we signed up for surgery because of lack of water or electricity outages.

We have been in the planning stages of developing a soft tissue course and a temporal bone course for the Black Lion Residents on one of our future trips. Yekatit 12 Hospital is in need of surgical instruments and especially plates and screws to fix facial fractures.

We sponsored the 1st Tikur Anbessa Surgical Conference & CME. The event was a success with outstanding presentations by both Ethiopian and American physicians. There were lively discussions about logistics of how to improve The Black Lion Hospital. There was even entertainment, which was provided by Comedian Blank. I served as master of ceremonies and gave a presentation on facial soft tissue trauma. Much credit goes to Dr. Sandra Skovlund, Amy Tofte, Dr. Richard Solazzi, and the many other US and Ethiopian volunteers. We look forward to next year’s conference.

I can’t wait to return back to Addis Ababa next year!

Farhad Ardeshirpour, MD

Fellow, Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

University of Washington

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