Addis Ababa
Bahir Dar

Orthopaedic practice and training continues to take great strides in Ethiopia with newly qualified consultants really driving things forward. There are now two large training centres in the capital – based out of the Black Lion Hospital (Addis Ababa University) and ALERT hospital (St Pauls University). There is also a training programme established in Barhir Dar. The need to support these training programmes, and their many trainees, is as great as ever.


New orthopaedic departments are also being born at many other institutions where recently qualified surgeons are returning to set up their practices. Of note, surgeons at Hawassa (supported by the Northwest Orthopaedic Trauma Alliance for Africa – NOTAA) and Gondar (supported by the Leicester-Gondar Orthopaedic Project – LGOP) have been able to develop and grow orthopaedic services with the support of WOC-UK members. Bristol are currently developing a link with Barhir Dar (Bahir Dar Orthopaedic Network and Exchange with Severn – BONES). Others are seeking similar support – Dr Moa Chali in Harar being one example.


The main focus of visits to Ethiopia by WOC-UK members will remain clinical teaching visits at the main training facilities. The activities of WOC-UK members in Ethiopia are expanding though, and now include support of the development of clinical governance, research and the moderation of annual examinations for the residents. Furthermore, in the capital, some of the consultants are beginning to develop specialist areas of interest – trauma, tumours, paediatrics, spines, limb reconstruction and arthroplasty. There is a role for surgeons in the UK to help mentor the consultants one to one as they build their knowledge and expertise in these areas. This more specialised aspect of support has begun and will hopefully grow over the coming years. Finally, a number of courses are run for Ethiopian consultants and residents each year, with international faculty. This is not the main priority for WOC-UK, but a number of WOC-UK members have been involved in these courses. There continues to be an appetite for the provision of courses.


We want to plan the calendar of WOC-UK supported visits to Ethiopia for the next 12 months. There is a fairly busy timetable of international visitors to the Black Lion hospital throughout the year, but we are always welcomed by Dr Biruk and his team. In addition, we seek to increase our support for the St Pauls and Barhir Dar training programmes.


WOC-UK is able to offer financial assistance to it’s members of up to £500 per week of a trip. To make the life of our treasurer easier, and help plan allocation of our resources, travel bursaries will only be approved prospectively. A detailed record of our spending is important to allow transparency with the charities commission. Therefore we ask that an application form is completed before bursaries are approved (this can downloaded here) . Please also note that money will only be transferred upon receipt of a report for your trip. This does not have to be lengthy but is useful so we can keep members updated of activities through our newsletter. We also aim to maintain funding from groups such the Bone and Joint Journal and they will require reports for this.



If you are interested in being part of the WOC-UK work in Ethiopia, please get in touch. Generally we aim for first time visitors to make their first trip alongside someone who is making a return visit. We also have many trainees who would like to become involved, and I am looking for consultants who would be interested in joining them on a trip.

Bahir Dar Orthopaedic Network and Exchange with Severn (BONES)

Regional partnership between Bahir Dar (Northern Ethiopia) and the Severn Deanery Orthopaedic Training Programme. Engage in an active programme of educational visits each year, most recently a Primary Trauma Care (PTC) Course and a Paediatric teaching week. In addition to this two senior residents from Ethiopia have also spent time in and around Bristol as well as presenting at the BOTA Conference. During the travel restrictions during COVID-19, Ethiopian residents have been granted access to the weekly teaching sessions in severn deanery. 

Recent Visits

Paediatric Teaching week and Virtual Reality Video Trial February 2020 – Report Available here.

Bahir Dar Residents UK Visit November 2019 – Report available here.

Primary Trauma Care September 2019 – See link above, participant reports available here.

Opportunities for Trainees:

Contact: James Berwin – 

Suitable for: All members of Orthopaedic MDT. Consultants, Trainees ST3-8, Physiotherapists, Scrub Nurses, Plaster Technicians. Priority given to Severn Trainees. 

Example work: Postgraduate orthopaedic teaching of local trainees on all elective and trauma topics. Would welcome those with an interest in research methodology.

Duration Minimum of 1-2 weeks 


Northwest Orthopaedic and Trauma Alliance for Africa (NOTAA)

Northwest Orthopaedic and Trauma Alliance for Africa (NOTAA) and the Northwest Orthopaedic and Trauma Alliance for Africa Research Collaboration (NOTA4ARC)

NOTAA was set up in 2016 to improve trauma care in Africa. Health professionals from different backgrounds work with NOTAA either remotely or on organised trips. NOTAA collaborates with other teams and at present work is done with Ethiopia and Malawi.

NOTA4ARC is a audit and research collaboration set up by the North West (East) trainees under NOTAA. The aim is to improve patient care via audit and research. It is also an educational platform for trainees to share knowledge regardless of location and experience. Collaboration is done online and therefore an ability to travel is not required. Collaborations have also been made with BON, BONES, Havard Global Orthopaedics Collaborative, and WOC at present.

If your deanery has a organisation or group with an interest in global surgery and education, we invite you to collaborate with us on this programme. 
Current events: 
We have recently started monthly teaching sessions and journal clubs. These international sessions are completely online. The first session was held on the 18 Feb 2021 on how to critique a paper. The next event will be on 1 March 2021 and will be a journal club. Please contact (Luke Hughes) if interested.

Opportunities for Trainees

Contact: Kohila Vani Sigamoney ( and NOTAA (

Suitable: All trainees Any level and experience. Also open to any health professional of trauma specialties.

Visits are available to Ethiopia but the research collaborative project is mainly an online collaboration of educational topics, research and audit. Open to any country and work is approved by training programme directors towards completion of training.

Online project is free.

Duration minimum 1-2 weeks for travelling visits.

Leicester Gondar Orthopaedic Partnership (LGOP)

In 2014, having won a Travel Bursary, an orthopaedic registrar from Leicester, Laurence Wicks visited the University of Gondar Hospital (UoGH), Northern Ethiopia. Gondar is a hilly city on the edges of the picturesque Simian Mountain range.

Until very recently, there have been very few orthopaedic specialists in Ethiopia. There are currently 5 training programmes for registrars. This, to provide service for a population of 90 million! So, a large proportion of trauma care was and is still carried out by non-orthopaedic (General) surgeons. In addition, facilities were very basic with a small selection of orthopaedic implants, totally inadequate to manage the workload of cases in Gondar.

Following Laurence’s visits, a few further visits followed by Mr Alwyn Abraham, Mr Chris Kershaw, Mr Dean Birch and others. This further strengthened ties between the orthopaedic department in Leicester and UoGH.

Three separate events then combined to create what is now the Leicester Gondar Orthopaedic Partnership (LGOP) and the UoGH Orthopaedic department as we know it. The first was a commitment by the Rotary Club of Leicester under the chairmanship of Richard Power to raise $200k specifically to equip an orthopaedic operating theatre. Rotary used Medical Aid International, a recognised provider of equipment to source a whole inventory of orthopaedic kit and to ship it to Gondar by container. At about the same time, UoGH appointed two trained orthopaedic surgeons, Dr Ananya Kasahun and Dr Yessuf Mohd. Last and not least, UoGH committed to build a dedicated, modern orthopaedic trauma theatre.

2020 LGOP Report is available here.

Opportunities for Trainees

LGOP is very welcoming of trainee involvement in their visits to Gondar. If you would like to hear more or get involved, please email Mr Abraham (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Leicester Royal Infirmary) here. Their visits are usually 2-4 weeks and educational in nature. 

·       Ethiopia Linkperson: Laurence Wicks (Consultant, CURE Addis Ababa)

·       If you are interested in applying for a WOC-UK bursary to visit Ethiopia please download the form here.


Deepa Boose (Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon and Secretary of WOC-UK) teaching Ethiopian Residents at the Black Lion Hospital