Advancing renal care in Ethiopia

Advancing renal care in Ethiopia

World Kidney Fund contributed to the career of young internist Dr. Maekel Belay Woldemariam from the Jimma University Specialized Hospital in Ethiopia.

The Jimma University Specialized Hospital is a large institution and a referral hospital for over 10 million people in South West Ethiopia. However, the hospital has no specialized nephrologists or organized renal services. Thousands of patients either remain unattended or are forced to travel to Addis Ababa where there are only five nephrologists covering the entire population.

Maekel started developing a keen interest in nephrology since his undergraduate years.  During his residency in internal medicine, he cared for patients with kidney disease and realized how little attention they got in the Ethiopian health care system.

With this motivation, he set up a clinic to follow up kidney patients and took the responsibility to teach nephrology to undergraduate students.

During his fellowship, Maekel trained in clinical nephrology and received hands-on training on various dialysis and continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) techniques.

He has been offered a place to train at the Cairo Kidney Center, Egypt under the supervision of Prof. Rashad Barsoum.

Maekel is very committed and has very clear goals that he wants to achieve upon his return, with the knowledge acquired through his training. His primary objective is to improve renal care in the Jimma University Hospital.

He plans to establish a renal unit within the hospital that offers kidney care for patients with acute kidney injury but also chronic kidney disease. He will also work to improve nephrology training for undergraduate medical students and to develop this training for internal medicine residents and pediatricians.

Maekel’s dream for the future is to make Jimma University a hub for training and research in Nephrology in South West Ethiopia.