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Hawassa (Ethiopia)


In 2015, Urolink received funding from the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI) to advance urological training and care in Hawassa through targeted education and professional exchange programmes that aimed to develop urological services.

       (Click the graphic for further information)
BACKGROUND: Ethiopia is located in the “Horn of Africa” and has a total area of about 1.1 million square kilometres. With a population of more than 81 million, it is one of the most populous countries in sub-Saharan Africa; more than 85% of the people live in rural areas. Life expectancy in Ethiopia is low (55 years for men, and 58 for women).

Ethiopia's health care system is among the least developed in sub-Saharan Africa and is not, at present, able to cope with the significant health problems facing the country. The government has recognised that ill health of a fast growing population is a major problem, and has committed to salvaging the country's failing health system. They have chosen to strengthen primary health care, because of the lack of physical access to basic health care facilities in rural areas.

Widespread poverty, poor nutritional status, low education levels and poor access to health services have contributed to the high burden of ill health in the country. Malaria is the primary health problem; it is the leading cause of outpatient visits and is responsible for 8 to 10 million clinical cases each year, with a significant mortality. Up to 80% of the health problems in the country are due to preventable, communicable or nutritional diseases.

Hawassa University Referral Hospital (HURH) started health delivery services in 2006. It provides diversity of both outpatient and inpatient services for about 15 million people from all over southern Ethiopia and neighbouring regions. Currently, HURH has over 400 beds and provides high quality patient care, in a broad range of services, to over approximately 90,200 outpatients, 18,116 hospitalised patients and 1,092 emergency cases each year.  

UROLOGY DEPT: The Urology Department is part of the Department of Surgery, and was established as a unit approximately six years ago. It is managed by two urological surgeons and three urological nurses. The unit also receives one to two general surgery residents and interns every month as part of their training. The department runs a post-graduate programme in general surgery and currently has 35 residents from first year to fourth year.
2015,  2016 Two workshops were led by Graham Watson (Eastbourne) and funded by the MediTech Trust in December 2015 and August 2016. A workshop on the management of urethral stricture and TURP (led by Suzie Venn (Chichester), Steve Payne (Manchester), David Dickerson (Bristol), Paul Anderson (Birmingham) & Shekhar Biyani (Leeds)) was delivered in December 2016 and was funded by Urolink. 
2017 In July 2017, a stones & TURP workshop was led by Graham Watson. In October 2017, Zeesham Aslam (Dundee) and Chandrasekharan Badrakumar (Blackpool) will be visiting and holding a workshop
  • To assist with the development of endoscopic urological surgery;
  • To raise the profile of Hawassa University Referral Hospital in Ethiopia with a view to supporting its development as a training centre;
  • To assist with the introduction of urethroplasty: and
  • To increase collaboration with COSECSA.
NEEDS: Future objectives are to continue strengthening the urology unit through an increase in dedicated urological personnel, a sustainable supply of equipment, prospects for training and workshops, and to develop the data and audit activity to improve outcomes.


Getaneh Tesfaye Teferi MD - Assistant Professor of Urology at Hawassa University & Urolink coordinator in Hawassa

Gelaneh Tesfaya graduated from AAU Health Sciences College after five years of training, both locally and in India. He has worked in Hawassa University Specialized Hospital since Jan 2017. He served as a GP in the surgical department before he went on to study urology. He is the second Urologist working in the region.

Currently, he is a member of the case team for comprehensive care of children with spina bifida in the hospital. He is a member of The Surgical Society of Ethiopia and the undergraduate medical student co-ordinator.

Aberra Gobeze MD FCS (ECSA) - Urologist 

Aberra Gobeze graduated from the Sofia Medical Academy Bulgaria in 1985 and completed his surgical specialty training in Addis Ababa University in 1995. In 2009, he visited India and where he completed his sub-specialty training in urology. He then practised as a general practitioner and was Medical Director at Hosanna General Hospital. 

He has worked as a general surgeon & Head of the Surgical Department at Debretabor General Hospital, and as Assistant Professor of Surgery / Department Head at Dilla College of Health Science. 

Since 2003, he has worked at Hawassa University Referral Hospital of which he was co-founder.

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