New hospital offers hope for disabled children of Ethiopia

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AFRICA | MISSIONS

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New hospital offers hope for disabled children of Ethiopia

With the opening yesterday (Sept.9) of CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital, in Addis Ababa, CURE International celebrated the grand opening of its tenth teaching hospital with both the Ethiopian President and US Ambassador to Ethiopia attending, reports Michael Ireland, chief correspondent, ASSIST News Service.

CURE Ethiopia will be the country's only pediatric specialty surgical hospital delivering care to the country's disabled children, according to a media release from A. Larry Ross Communications.

"We are extremely pleased to add Ethiopia to the growing list of nations that have joined us in our mission to heal the 100 million disabled children in the developing world," said Dr. Scott Harrison, founder and president of CURE International.

"Our new hospital gives children and their families access to world-class specialty care regardless of their ability to pay, and offers them the hope that they will cured – and cured completely – of their physical disability."

Evidence of the importance of this new facility to Ethiopians was that both Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Yamamoto, atteneded a grand opening celebration held at the hospital on September 9. The opening of the new hospital coincides with the start of Ethiopia's New Year on September 11.

President Wolde-Giorgis expressed his appreciation for CURE's new hospital and noted, "I am very grateful to CURE for this amazing facility and for all of the good it will do for the children of Ethiopia. It is a wonderful way for us to start the New Year with the opening of a new hospital that will bring hope to so many of our children and their families."

Ambassador Yamamoto added, "It is an honor to be part of today's hospital opening. This facility will provide top quality pediatric care, ensuring a bright future for Ethiopian children."

According to the media release, CURE Ethiopia will have a dual focus on pediatric plastic reconstruction and pediatric orthopedics. It will treat disabilities such as cleft lip and palate, clubfoot, burn contractures and other physical disabilities.

The release says that in the hospital's first year of operation, the CURE Ethiopia medical staff is expected to perform 1,000 surgeries and treat 7,000 outpatients. The facility will feature modern, up-to-date standards and equipment such as ECG machines, pulse oximetry, anesthetic gas monitoring and C-arm mobile X-ray units.

In addition, there will also be training for Ethiopians in the use and maintenance of this equipment. CURE Ethiopia will introduce advanced American diagnostic techniques utilizing ultrasound, enhanced X-ray and laboratory services which are currently unavailable in Ethiopia.

CURE Ethiopia's medical director, Dr. Paul Lim, will be one of the few U.S.-trained, board-certified plastic surgeons in the country. Another key staff member, Executive Director Adey Abate, is returning home after many years abroad. Born in Ethiopia, she immigrated to the United States, where she attended college and worked for many years. Now, she is back in her homeland to serve at the new hospital.

Founded 12 years ago by orthopedic surgeon and entrepreneur Dr. Scott Harrison, CURE has grown to become the largest provider of specialty surgical care in the developing world. The vision for CURE began in 1986 after Dr. Harrison and his wife, Sally, traveled to Malawi on a medical mission and saw they could fill a huge need by serving poor, disabled children in countries suffering from a lack of skilled medical care.

"Since then, we've learned there are more than 100 million physically disabled children in the world today that – with treatment – can look forward to a bright future," Harrison said. "CURE seeks to help children, families and communities understand they no longer have to let a disability determine their destiny."

CURE opened its first hospital in 1998 in Kenya, and a decade later, operates additional hospitals in Afghanistan, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Malawi, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda and Zambia. Since its inception, CURE has treated more than 700,000 patients and performed 48,500 surgeries worldwide. CURE now sees 130,000 patients each year and performs 10,000 surgeries on average.

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