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New ethics center opened in Addis Ababa

On February 28th 2017 the Center for Medical Ethics and Priority Setting (CMEPS) was officially opened by the CEO of the Addis Ababa University College of Health Sciences Dr. Rezene Berhe.

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The head of the center, Dr. Dawit Desalegn introduced the center, the background and the activities of the center. Ole F. Norheim, Professor in Medical Ethics at the University of Bergen, Norway, informed about the collaboration with the center on training of trainers in medical ethics, research in ethics and projects on priority setting and health economics.  The program director for ethics collaboration, Associate Professor in Medical Ethics, University of Bergen, Dr. Ingrid Miljeteig gave a brief introduction to aims and learning outcomes in teaching and training in medical ethics and the role and functions of clinical ethics committees.

Dr. Wuletaw Chane, the clinical service director from AAU, and Dr. Yeneneh Getachew Director of the Ethiopian Medical Association, gave their support to the center and related the center´s work with the national focus on Compassionate, Respectful and Caring (CRC) health workers. The Counsellor Sissel Igland from the Norwegian Embassy talked about the importance of fair priority setting in the context of scarce health resources in all societies, and the need for health workers who are competent in handling ethical dilemmas. 

    The head of the center, Dr. Dawit Desalegn and the coordinator Dr. Frehiwot Berhane are in addition to their commitments in Ethiopia, also PhD candidates in medical ethics at the University of Bergen. Professor Ole Frithjof Norheim and Program Director of the Ethics Collaboration, Associate Professor Ingrid Miljeteig have committed themselves to support the Centre as well as initiatives by the Ethiopian Medical Association and the Ministry of Health to increase awareness, skills and knowledge among students and health workers in the fields of medical ethics and priority setting. In addition to support from AAU, the development of the center has been supported by the University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital, Norway.

    CMEPS is located in the library building at the hospital campus. It has office spaces and a meeting room for the clinical ethics committee. Researchers working on ethics and priority setting will have the office as their workplace. 

    Upcomming events at the center

    • Research:  Meeting: Planning of new project on ethical dilemmas in emergency care units in Addis Ababa March 3rd 2017
    • Meeting in the clinical ethics committee: March 7th 2017
    • Research: Start of data-collection on phd-project on the project  “Increasing awareness, skills and knowledge in medical ethics among Ethiopian health workers to build a caring, respectful and compassionate health system” Dawit Desalegn, May 2017
    • Collaborating meeting CMEPS and UoB, May 10th-14th 2017
    • Open lecture “Medical Ethics and Priority Setting in Ethiopia” May 2017, auditorium Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital. Final program and invitation to university and hospital staff will be sent later.