Israeli Professor Mark Eidelman (C sitting) and the African trainees. (Courtesy of Professor Mark Eidelman) (Courtesy of Professor Mark Eidelman)
Rambam Eidelman Ethiopia

Yet another Israeli humanitarian mission improves lives in Africa! 

By: United with Israel Staff

Dozens of pediatricians from Ethiopia and neighboring countries recently participated in an Israeli course which trained them to heal common pediatric orthopedic deformities.

The course, held for the first time ever in Africa, was led by Professor Mark Eidelman, director of the Pediatric Orthopedics Unit at Rambam’s Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital in Haifa.

Some 50 local doctors participated in this unique four-day course, which included lectures about different treatment types, practical workshops, and surgeries.

The Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted the course, which was sponsored by CURE International – a non-profit organization that assists children in third-world countries suffering from medical issues, in cooperation with POSNA, the Pediatric Orthopedics Society of North America.

Many children are born in Africa with orthopedic birth defects. Although this is a common problem, there are almost no available solutions. The Ethiopian hospital’s pediatric orthopedic services are directed by two doctors from England who had relocated to Ethiopia several years ago and dedicated their time to improving treatment conditions for the local population. They initiated the course in order to give treatment tools to local medical teams dealing with one of the most common problems in the country.

“Against the backdrop of genetic diseases and problems, and especially since there is a great lack of knowledge, infrastructure, and treatment capabilities with regard to pediatric orthopedic deformities, there are many people in Ethiopia with problems that are taken care of in other countries at much earlier stages,” Professor Eidelman explained.

“In Israel, like in many other western countries, they know how to diagnose problems on time and treat them in a timely manner. This helps these patients to enjoy a higher quality of life and prevent their conditions from deteriorating. Now, for dozens of local doctors, there are tools and knowledge to help their patients.”

Eidelman was joined on this important mission by two doctors from the US.

Bringing US Knowledge to Africa

The Israeli doctor believes that the main problem in training African doctors is the difficulty of traveling to the US to receive training there, and therefore he has decided to bring the training to them.

The course was a success, and plans to develop the initiative are already in place. Eidelman is slated to return to Ethiopia in near future to train additional doctors.

Israeli doctors often travel to various parts of Africa to offer their care and knowledge to the local population.

Israel’s embassy in Nigeria last month opened a pediatric clinic for refugees at a displaced persons camp in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) near Abuja to treat displaced children in need of primary care.

In September, another delegation from Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa gave an emergency medicine course to local doctors and nursing staff in the village of Nakuru, Kenya.

The Rambam team taught their local counterparts CPR equipment maintenance, case-management techniques, basic and advanced resuscitation methods and how to use equipment they had never encountered before.

Israel has a long history of sharing its expertise with African countries, and has diverse aid operations deployed in several countries on the continent.

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