The institutional partners celebrated the opening of the new Centre for Medical Ethics and Priority Setting at Addis Abeba University: Sissel Idland, Counsellor at the Norwegian Embassy; Ass. Professor Dawit Desalegn Nima, Head of the new Center; Professor Ole Fridtjof Norheim and Ass. Professor Ingrid Miljeteig at the University of Bergen. Photo: RNE
Center for Medical Ethics and Priority Setting Opened in Addis Abeba Today
On February 28th the Embassy attended the opening of Center for Medical Ethics and Priority Setting, a result of an institutional collaboration which started in 2012, between Addis Abeba University and University of Bergen. A pilot program soon became a reality where 25 experienced physicians now after three years, are certified teachers of medical ethics.
The Center will focus on dealing with ethical dilemmas in clinical practice in Ethiopia through an ethics committee based at the Black Lion Hospital and a Training of Trainers program. Many ethical issues have not been included in curriculum in trainings or general practice of medical professionals in Ethiopia before, and textbooks on medical ethics within an Ethiopian context, does not exists. Medical professionals have to take challenging decisions connected to end-of-life support and scarce resources. Dr. Dawit Desalegn, the Head of the new center, emphasized the need for teachers in ethics and research based empirical studies.
The new center will make it possible to expand to all 28 medical faculties in Ethiopia. The project will also result in a new textbook on the topic as well as guidelines on various topics. The clinical ethics committee will support doctors and hospitals to make the right decisions in difficult situations.
Norway has an extensive focus on improving health, mostly multilaterally and through direct institutional collaboration. It is wonderful to see how such cooperation results in innovative research solutions well adapted to the local context and needs.