Emergency medicine and its development in Ethiopia with emphasis on the role of Addis Ababa University, School of Medicine, Emergency Medicine Department

Ethiop Med J. 2014 Jul:Suppl 2:1-12.


Introduction: Globally Emergency Medicine (EM) is young discipline and even in developed countries it is about five decades old. In Ethiopia formal pre-hospital care or hospital based Emergency department (ED) development is a recent phenomenon and this article describes development of Emergency Medicine care in Ethiopia before, around and after Ethiopia millennium.

Methodology: Documents related to emergency medicine development and implementation from different government and nongovernmental data sources are used as a resource for this article.

Results: Emergency Medicine task force (EMTF) has been established in Addis Ababa University (AAU) school of Medicine (SOM) in June 2006 and the taskforce has closely worked with Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and Addis Ababa city council Health Bureau (AACCHB). In addition to the main actors many partners have contributed significantly to this initiative. Some of the developments were establishment of emergency departments in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) and the restructuring of EM service by FMOH. Emergency care has been considered as a crucial service in hospitals' service along with outpatient and inpatient services. Furthermore, Pre-hospital care initiatives have been commenced in Addis Ababa and expanded to the regions with a arrangement of one or two ambulances to small districts having 100,000 population. There have also been key achievement in human resource development, notably the establishment of EM residency and MSC in EM and critical care nursing. Prehospital care givers training programs in order to produce emergency medicine technicians (EMT) have been started in various regional health professionals training centers. Furthermore, EM module has been included in the current undergraduate medical education. The Ethiopian society of emergency professionals (ESEP) has been established with members from different categories of emergency medicine professionals. In all these developments the emergency medicine training center in the emergency department of AAU has played key role in the training of human resources in different categories.

Discussion and conclusion: The recent successes in EM development is due to concerted efforts of the FMOH, AAU SOM and AACCHB along with committed partners. Hence, it is concluded that consistent local efforts and relevant stakeholders support in EM has resulted in successful development of the field in the country.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Ethiopia
  • Hospitals, University / organization & administration*
  • Hospitals, Urban / organization & administration*
  • Humans