We are thrilled to tell you that Birhanu Demelash Desyibelew, MD and Becky Abera Adugna, MD are on the cusp of beginning their two-year fellowship in rheumatology at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa. They are enrolled for the January 2019 term.
Rheumatology for All could not have found better candidates for our initial class of scholars than Becky and Birhanu. Their investment in and commitment to helping their country’s citizens is inspiring. As Birhanu explained his journey in his application for the fellowship:
“My interest in rheumatology was kindled by rheumatologists who visited Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) from the United States and Canada through ILAR while I was a resident. They showed me the depth of the problem and how easily disability and morbidity can be prevented with good clinical knowledge and skill. Thanks to their training, I still treat Rheumatologic patients and positively impact the lives of thousands of patients with Rheumatic diseases. The fact that there are no trained Rheumatologists practicing in Ethiopia, a country with more than 100 million people, makes me more determined to practice Rheumatology as my career”.
Rheumatology for All is extremely grateful to Professor Girish Mody, who facilitated Birhanu and Becky’s entry into the rheumatology program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The leadership at Tikur Anbessa has worked with the ministry of health so that the speciality of rheumatology will be recognized in Ethiopia on their return. Both Becky and Birhanu will have jobs at Tikur Anbessa in 2021. They will oversee the training of internal medical residents in rheumatology, treat patients, and undertake relevant clinical research. Through these efforts, rheumatology practice in Ethiopia will make a giant leap forward.
Please consider making a donation to Becky and Birhanu’s education fund. While Rheumatology for All is paying their expenses, it is not a generous stipend. Additional dollars that would pay for travel home or to a conference, is always welcome.