The project in Awassa trains doctors practicing pediatric surgery in Ethiopia - in a city that just some time ago has not existed so far. How many residents in Germany come to 1 doctor? What do you think? We can tell you: in 2016, between 140 - 250 people (Hamburg) came to 1 doctor. There are 36,000,000 children in Ethiopia- but just 6 pediatric surgeons, all of them practicing in the capital Addis Ababa.
Therefore, the project "Jimma Child" focuses on training pediatric surgeons in the African country to improve care conditions. The word "Jimma" already names the site of the project: Jimma, a city about 250 kilometers from Addis Ababa, with poor medical care and extreme poverty. All the more motivated is the local medical staff to learn important surgical techniques with the tools that are available on site. The project is supervised by the pediatric surgeon Jochen Hubertus from the LMU Munich, who currently also is in charge of the management. The Ethiopian doctors, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and in cooperation with Jimma University in Ethiopia, receive a three-year training as aspiring pediatric surgeons. Later, they will be able to use their skills to train new specialists as well. In actual operations under difficult conditions and poor hygienic standards, local Ethiopian doctors learn many surgical techniques from specialists while also healing newborns and children. Tumors in the abdomen and thorax, fractures, soft-tissue injuries, as well as malformations in various forms are treated. A similar approach has been choosen by the team of the "Pediatric Surgery Foundation" founded by Prof. Lacher to help establishing a pediatric surgery unit in the town of Awassa in Ethiopia.
Attending physician Peter Zimmermann from the Children's Hospital Leipzig and other specialists usually stay in Ethiopia for several weeks to pass on their valuable knowledge to the young colleagues on site. "It is important to provide assistance, that is sustainable," explains Dr. med. Jochen Hubertus. "In addition to healing children, we can achieve something that will help - the self-empowerment and development of clinical staff in Jimma."