University of Wisconsin–Madison

UW Surgery Connections Bring Simulation Training To Ethiopia

Last month, two simulation trainers from the UW Simulation Center traveled to Ethiopia to conduct a surgical simulation training needs assessment at Addis Ababa University’s Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital. Their trip is the latest connection in a long partnership between the Department of Surgery and Addis Ababa University.

Connecting Wisconsin and Ethiopia
Dr. Jon Gould, part of the team who originally brought laparoscopic surgery training to TASH.

The Department of Surgery has been collaborating with Addis Ababa University School of Medicine and Public Health for over 10 years, beginning in 2007 with a collaboration to bring laparoscopic surgery methods to the Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH). Through subsequent competitive federal funding, the Department supported the development of residency training programs in Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine. With over 700 beds, TASH is the largest specialized hospital in Ethiopia, serving as a training center for a range of health professionals.

As part of this partnership, Dr. Girma Tefera and AAU/TASH were awarded a five-year Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center for simulation training at Addis Ababa University’s College of Health Sciences.

Bringing hands-on simulation center training
Mary-Kate O’Leary and Krystle Campbell with the Addis Ababa University College of Health’s Simulation Training Team.

In February, UW Health Simulation Center employees Mary-Kate O’Leary and Krystle Campbell traveled to Ethiopia to conduct a needs assessment at the simulation center at Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences (AAU CHS). The university had previously purchased several simulators from MEPI funds that have been underutilized. Mary-Kate and Krystle met with an interprofessional team of stakeholders to mentor staff in order to assess the current state of the simulation center and future needs.

With the AAU CHS staff, Mary-Kate and Krystle developed a comprehensive strategic plan for partnership with the center, including how to maximize the current space through grant-purchased resources, faculty involvement, and day-to-day operations. Upon request from the AAU simulation team, the UW team also conducted a faculty development series on simulation-based education and debriefing.

What is next for the partnership?

The UW simulation team plans to maximize AAU CHS Simulation Center’s current resources, while continuing the mentorship of the AAU simulator coordinator through sharing of documents, creation of organizational charts, and design of a business plan. The UW simulation team recently received a UW Global Health Institutes Visiting Scholar Award, which they will use to invite the Ethiopian simulation coordinator and a visiting faculty professor to Madison for a several week mentorship, evaluation, and mutual learning exchange.

There is a large operative volume at AAU/TASH in both general and vascular surgery, which will provide a learning opportunity for our general surgery residents. The Department of Surgery approved the first general surgery PGY3 resident, Callistus Ditah, for a 4-week international rotation to Ethiopia. He departs this month.

For more information about the UW Simulation partnership in Ethiopia, contact Krystle Campbell at KCampbell3@uwhealth.org or Mary-Kate O’Leary at MOLeary2@uwhealth.org.

Learn more about international partnerships in the Department of Surgery >>