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University of Southampton Global Health Research Institute

Documentary made of Southampton's Global Health Research Institute joint Ethiopia/THET conference

Published: 8 December 2016

On 13 October 2016, delegates gathered in the lecture theatre at the Institute of Developmental Sciences Building at Southampton General Hospital for a one-day joint conference. The event was generated by a collaboration between the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) and the University of Southampton's Global Health Research Institute.

The Ethiopian Embassy in London has now produced a documentary film which inludes substantial footage filmed at the event on the day.

In common with other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the burden of chronic NCDs in Ethiopia is considerable. Ethiopia suffers from a high prevalence of chronic disease such as diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, hypertension and cancer, which cause disability and death; however, many people in Ethiopia, particularly rural populations, are unable to access treatment due to the remoteness of hospitals, which are usually located in towns and cities.

Access to long-term care is only available at specialist and referral hospitals, while the rural poor and those that live far away from large central hospitals have no provision. THET has responded to the initiative of local senior clinicians in Gondar and Jimma to help find a way to enable poor rural people with chronic NCDs to receive care at local health centres.

THET has been working in Ethiopia since 1997, when its founder Professor Sir Eldryd Parry and other UK health professionals were invited to Jimma and Gondar University Hospitals to deliver health worker non-communicable disease (NCD) training. Since then, an important relationship has been nurtured between the partners through a significant number of training visits, exchange visits to the UK and research activities. We have worked to establish NCD care at local health centres, with the result that rural populations in these regions now have greater access to effective and appropriate services. Jimma and Gondar are now considered centres of excellence for decentralised NCD diagnosis, treatment and care.

From the beginning academic clinicians from the University of Southampton have made a major contribution to this programme, and this first conference is being held in Southampton to present some of the achievements and discuss how to accelerate progress, following the recent launch of the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health’s national programme to address NCDs.

 The conference achieved its two aims which were:-

  • To present achievements and learning from the first 20 years of work to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in rural Ethiopia
  • To review current programme challenges and priorities in the global context, and generate ideas for accelerating progress

Delegates included colleagues who have contributed and collaborated over the past 20 years, NCD clinicians, public health specialists and health services researchers and global health experts/researchers. Speakers included:-


Professor Sir Eldryd Parry KCMG OBE (THET/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

Professor Marie-Louise Newell (Global Health Research Institute, University of Southampton)

Dr Yoseph Mano (Jimma University/MoH Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Dr Shitaye Alemu (Gondar University, Ethiopia)

Dr Dan Levene (Reader in History, University of Southampton)

Professor David Phillips (MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton)

Professor Chris Lavy OBE (Orthopaedics and Tropical Surgery, Oxford University)

Professor Anthony Harries OBE (The Union, Paris)

Professor Elizabeth Trimble CBE (Queens University Belfast)

Dr Tom Havelock (Consultant in Respiratory and General Medicine, Southampton)

Dr Martin Prevett (Consultant Neurologist, Southampton)





Notes for editors


Further Information:

Collaborative Research:- THET and its partners have recognised the need to ensure that quality services are delivered at both centres. A part of this has been the support of collaborative research, which has allowed the partners not only to study the risk factors of the diseases particular to the regions, but also to support capacity development and staff motivation at both Jimma and Gondar Universities. Examples of published research include: 

1. Yemaneberhan H, Bekele Z, Venn A, Lewis S, Parry E, Britton J. Prevalence of wheeze and asthma and relation to atopy in urban and rural Ethiopia. Lancet 1997; 350(9071):85-90

2. Mamo Y, Seid E, Adams S, Gardiner A, Parry E. A primary healthcare approach to the management of chronic disease in Ethiopia: an example for other countries. Clin Med 2007; 7:228-31

3. Alemu S, Dessie A, Seid E, Bard E, Lee PT, Trimble ER, Phillips DI, Parry EH. Insulin-requiring diabetes in rural Ethiopia: should we reopen the case for malnutrition-related diabetes? Diabetologia 2009; 52:1842-5

4. Fekadu S, Yigsaw M, Alemu S, Dessie A, Fieldhouse H, Girma T, Trimble ER, Phillips DIW, Parry EHO. Insulin-requiring diabetes in Ethiopia: associations with poverty, early undernutrition and anthropometric disproportion. Eur J ClinNutr 2010; 64:1192-8

5. Vaid N, Fekadu S, Alemu S, Dessie A, Wabe G, Phillips DIW, Parry EHO, Prevett M. Epilepsy, poverty and early under-nutrition in rural Ethiopia. Seizure 2012; 21:734-739

6. Kadia Petricca, Yoseph Mamo, Abraham Haileamlak2,Etalem Seid2, Eldryd Parry1,3.Barriers to effective follow-up treatment for rheumatic heart disease in jmma, ethiopia: a grounded theory analysis of the patient experience Ethiop J Health Sci. Vol. 19, No. 1 March 2009

7. Yoseph Mamo, Shitaye Alemu, Etalem Seid, Christopher Tiley, Martin Prevett. The problem of epilepsy and its care in rural ethiopia. Ethiop Medical Journal, Volume 46, No. 3:267-272, 2008

8. Emma Ryan, Yoseph Mamo, Etalem Seid, Sarah Adams, Martin Prevett Eldryd Parry. A patient driven case for the decentralization of epilepsy care in rural Ethiopia. Ethiopian medical Association conference XL III, Addis Ababa May 29-30, 2007

9. Tsehaineh Kelemu, Amare Mengistu, Yoseph Mamo. Distribution of Risk Factors for Chronic Complications of Diabetes among Patients Attending Jimma Hospital Diabetic Clinic, Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences: Volume 15, No 2:187-196, July 2005

10. Yoseph Mamo, Samuel Esayas. Fibrocalcific Pancreatic Diabetes Mellitus in a Young Ethiopian Man. Ethiopian Medical Journal: Volume 40:69-75, 2002

11. Alemu, Dessie, Tsegaw, Patterson, Parry, Phillips, Trimble. Retinopathy in type 1 diabetes mellitus: Major differences between rural and urban dwellers in northwest Ethiopia. Epub 2015 Apr 20


Technical Assistance to the MOH In recent years THET has had a close relationship with the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. Dr Yoseph and others within the partnership have advocated for the FMOH to increase their recognition of the NCD burden in Ethiopia, with the result that it is now recognised in the National Strategic Plan.



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