July 16, 2012

The Road Ahead in Ethiopia

Lexy Adams,
2012 GHLI Fellow

I am nearly halfway through my time here in Ethiopia and I can’t believe it has gone by so fast. The weeks have been filled with hospital visits, designing a training for site visitors and preparation for a visioning committee for the future of Ethiopia’s health status in 2035. In addition to the work, exploring Addis has been fascinating, including venturing to the top of Entoto Mountain to explore Emperor Menelik’s Palace and navigating the crazy minibus system. We have met so many fascinating people in the hospitals and NGOs and even just other travelers staying in our guest house. And the food is delicious!

We are now in Nekemte to visit the hospital and kick off the best practice documentation that we have been planning and perfecting for so long. With this new Ethiopian Hospital Alliance for Quality, we hope to create a platform for sharing ideas and best practices between all public hospitals in the country. Now, our job is to travel to the LEAD hospitals scattered throughout the country, already high performers in patient satisfaction, and unearth the practices that set them apart. Ideally, after compiling a list of practices that are effective, sustainable and low cost, hospitals across Ethiopia can adopt these simple practices that will lead to quality improvement, independently changing themselves for the better.

These weeks have been full of eye-opening experiences, from witnessing the poverty and debilitation on the streets to the extreme lack of resources in the hospitals. More than anything, this last month has reinforced my desire to become a doctor and to work in developing countries. Driving through the countryside it is evident how many people lack quality health care but have no means to attain necessary care. get it. With visionaries such as the Ministry committee and GHLI team in Ethiopia, hopefully in 20 years we can revolutionize the system in Ethiopia, and provide millions more people with the primary health care they deserve.

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