The 1st Ethio-Greek Conference “Hands-on Global Health” was very successfully held in Yerkalem , Ethiopia from June 16th to July 1st 2010

During this seminar the 25 students of the Master’s Course “International Medicine -Health Crisis management” of the Athens University School of Medicine, accompanied by their professors and facilitators had the chance to work hand to hand with their Ethiopian colleagues and meet the health realities of a typical sub-Saharan district hospital. They were acquainted with the most frequent tropical diseases, were involved to the day care of the patients and had the opportunity to discuss most interesting cases. The theoretical courses were attended by both the Greek and Ethiopian colleagues and offered the opportunity to deepen into the diagnosis and recent developments in the treatment of some of the most devastating diseases of the third world.

The visit to the adjacent “Hamlin fistula center” gave us the chance to come to contact with one of the most invalidating diseases of this part of the world and have admired and praised the commitment of the personnel to cope with this major health but also gender and human rights issue.

This seminar gave us the opportunity to meet with the local Ethiopian people and come to contact with the habits, tradition and culture of a dissent, proud and free nation.

Last but not least, we had the opportunity to admire the wonders of the Ethiopian nature and the protected ecosystems and this led us to face our responsibilities as citizens of this world for their preservation .

The visit to the African Union Organization has given us an idea of the global political efforts for the development and emancipation of the African nations and the responsibility of the so called “rich North” to pay back our old dept to this wonderful but so badly exploited continent.

Finally we had the chance to meet with the local Greek community of Ethiopia, the diplomatic representation of our country in Addis Ababa and HE the Ambassador Mr Daratzikis in person. Without their substantial aid, this conference would have not been possible and we herby express our deepest thanks.

Starting from the excellent hospitality provided by Mr and Mrs Missailidis in Yergalem, the precious input of Manolis and Barbara, the efficient coordination effort of Dr Zelalem and the touching support of the prosperous Hellenic community we thank you all and we promise this first visit will not be the last one. We will all work in order to develop a sustainable and long term scientific medical Ethio-Hellenic cooperation by initiating efforts towards a Research, Training and Development Center of the Athens University School of Medicine in rural Ethiopia. For this ambitious project we will seek for your ongoing support and cooperation.

Theofilos Rosenberg MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Surgery