Ethiopia: Gambella Medical School mission trip was a success

January 28, 2020 (GMN) - Gambella Medical Team Connection (GMTC) members would like thanks to Gambella University staff for the outstanding accommodation and hospitality that they provided.

We also thank the Gambella Government officials for allowing us to present the mission of Gambella Medical School to the cabinets of the Gambella Regional State. Our special appreciation also goes to Mr. Kan, the head of the Regional Health Bureau, for facilitating the meeting.

In fact, Gambella is one of the states among the nine states in Ethiopia with the population nearly half million, is subdivided into three zones,13 woredas and 1 special woreda. It has 5 hospitals: 1 general hospital, 1 primary hospital, and 3 zonal hospitals. According to the Gambella region health profile, shortage of health care specialties and medical equipment like CT scan, Ultrasound, and other to diagnose the diseases have been a major challenge in the Region and the health services are not enough to cover the entire population. As a result, many patients tend to seek treatment from the private clinic or transfer to Jimma and Mettu Hospitals.  

We, the Gambella Medical Team Connection (GMTC) with the Myungsung Medical College (MMC) and Gambella University (GmU) signed the MoU and collaborated with Gambella Regional Health Bureau to fill the gap and strengthen poor access to health care services in the Region.  Lack of medical supplies, which contributed to the high burden of widespread poverty along with general low-income levels of the population and low education levels especially among women, has been noticed in the Region. During the signed of MoU with the MMC and GmU, GMTC donated 2 ultrasounds to the GRHB, 1 microscopy to the GmU health clinic, basic pediatrics pain medicine, and medical supplies to Church-based primary school in Lare and Ogagna Academy School (OAS) in Gog. While we are focusing on establishing Medical School in Gambella, we are also fulfilling Gambella University’s motto: “We are with the community”.

 GMTC’s goal is to transform health outcomes through high-quality medical education to become a center of excellence in physician training to meet the increasing needs for physician services to address local and regional health disparities and improve outcomes.

The creation of a medical school in Ethiopia, especially in Gambella, is an important step in transforming health outcomes in the region that has known recent with high levels of HIV transmission, violence, chaos, and suffering.  Bringing high-quality education to an area of recent conflict and inviting students, specifically those who can become part of the solution for regional health challenges, is a unique model for improving health care, providing jobs opportunity, and creating future specialties to be permanent for the entire region.  

Overall, GMTC’s members are taking very seriously and committed to establishing a medical school in Gambella, Ethiopia and thought that this is the only way we can think of it to solve and strengthen the health system in Gambella.  At the movement, everyone with a health care professional background is welcome to join us.