POINT PLEASANT — Three members of the Neurology Department of Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH) will soon be traveling to Ethiopia to continue their efforts in expanding training opportunities for young medical professionals.
In conjunction with an organization called People to People, (P2P), PVH Neurology Coordinator Steve Brown, Dr. Robert Lewis II, MD, neurologist, and Dr. Senay, an Internal Medicine Physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Mekelle and an Ethiopian native, will be leaving in March and joining many other medical professionals from around the world to continue their previous work of creating and expanding medical training opportunities in Mek’ele, a city located 480 miles north of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Brown and Lewis have previously traveled to Addis Ababa to help create and foster these medical training programs. Since this trip is Brown’s eighth trip to Ethiopia, he discussed the progress that’s been made in the last several years, saying when they first started Ethiopia had only five neurologists and now the growing training programs are resulting in more than 10 neurologists per year.
Lewis, who will be traveling to Ethiopia for the second time, also discussed his previous experience and how the work in Ethiopia differs from his work here in the U.S., saying they had to treat diseases that typically do not affect Americans and how most of the medical care in America is preventive medicine. Lewis also expressed the need for this program and the training opportunities that are being created, saying the doctor to patient ratio in Ethiopia is 1 to 40,000.
Senay described the purpose of these trips and this project, saying the goal is to be able to provide more training opportunities in Ethiopia, which would give students the ability to be closer to their homes and families as opposed to traveling to the United States for training. Senay continued, saying students may still want to travel to the U.S., and Senay described his experience in America as very pleasant and welcoming, but the vision of the project is to expand and provide these opportunities for students who wish to stay near their home.
In addition to providing training opportunities for the students, the expanded facilities will also benefit patients, who will also not have to travel such long distances for needed treatment.
Brown, Lewis, and Senay all expressed their excitement for the trip and for the opportunity to continue this much needed work.
For more information on P2P, visit www.peopletopeople.org.