CIRHT named “Best Partner of the Year” by Ethiopian med school

The University of Gondar (UoG) has given U-M’s Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT) its “Best Partner of the Year” award.

CIRHT Managing Director Janet Hall and Yeshiwas Abebaw, the head of OB-GYN at the University of Gondar College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

In partnership since 2014, CIRHT and UoG have developed an expanded family planning services curriculum, increased faculty training, and upgraded teaching capacity. Faculty and residents from the medical, midwifery and public health schools are also engaging in a number of local research projects with support and training from CIRHT, and new stand-alone Michu clinic on the UoG campus is in the final stages of construction. The comprehensive partnership is designed to establish sustainable, self-sustaining services.

“We find the partnership to be practical, addressing our problems, supporting us in our endeavors. The approach is to build our own capacity rather than ‘spoon-feeding.’” Dr. Yeshiwas Abebaw, the head of OB-GYN at UoG.

Among the oldest medical schools in Ethiopia, UoG is one of 10 institutions in Ethiopia where CIRHT has partnered to expand pre-service training for medical students and midwives in family planning, contraception, and comprehensive abortion care.

The UoG midwifery program is the largest in the country with 250 students. Under the CIRHT-developed curriculum, both the advanced undergraduate students as well as the master’s students are moving from BEmONC (Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care) to CEmONC (Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care), including performing Caesarian Sections.

“This is real capacity-building,” said Midwifery program head Birhanu Wubale.

The Best Partner of Year award was presented July 8 by UoG President Desalegne Mengesha as part of the annual university graduation ceremonies. Dr. Mengistu Hailemariam, CIRHT Program Director in Ethiopia, said the award marked the real impact CIRHT was having.

“CIRHT’s work on pre-service training to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity can only be accomplished when we are working with great partner institutions. The staff, faculty, and, most important, students, at the University of Gondar have embraced the academic and research initiatives and physical upgrades on campus, and in turn are serving their community better. We are honored to receive this recognition.”

UoG is one of 10 CIRHT's 10 partner institutions in Ethiopia.