This past March I spent two weeks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, sponsored by the ASNR Outreach Program. I was visiting the Radiology Department in the College of Health Sciences of Addis Ababa University at the Black Lion Hospital. My hosts, Dr. Tequam Debebe and Dr. Asfaw Atnafu, the recent and current Department Chair, were extremely accommodating and helpful. It was great professional and personal experience.
Over the two weeks I gave lectures on diffusion, perfusion and MRS in stroke and brain tumor, fMRI & DTI, fetal MRI and MRI safety. I also sat in on daily clinical reading sessions with the residents and fellows, attended clinical conferences, reviewed interesting cases with the fellows and helped set up protocols on their new Philips 1.5T MRI.
The residents and fellows are very well read and well trained. The faculty is also first rate, many with fellowship training in the U.S. and Europe. They also have ongoing partnerships with radiology departments at Emory University, CHOP, NYP Weil Cornell and University of Toronto that include on-line consulting and opportunities for radiology resident rotations in Ethiopia. They currently have 1 CT, and 1 MRI and depend on paper orders, CD’s and rows of PC’s for image interpretation (soon to be upgraded to RIS/PACS). As the major academic referral hospital in Ethiopia, they are very busy and do a great job with limited resources. They see a wide range of neoplastic, ischemic, traumatic and infectious disease. Because they are at the top of the referral pyramid and treatment is often delayed outside Addis Ababa, they see very interesting and challenging cases of advanced stage pathology. This is especially true of endemic infectious diseases. I certainly learned a lot about the wide range of tuberculosis presentations!