Published: 05-04-2023 10:30 | Updated: 05-04-2023 10:33

Rewarding Linnaeus-Palme collaboration between MedH and Ethiopian university

Two men are standing next to each other outside on a roof top.
From left to right: Dr Tilahun Birara och Dr Hailemariam Awoke fom the Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia visited MedH in Huddinge in March 2023. Photo: Erik Pettersson

In March 2023 the Department of Medicine, Huddinge (MedH) hosted a successful visit by teachers from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, as part of the teacher exchange within the Linnaeus-Palme Programme.

The Linnaeus-Palme Programme, financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA), provides Swedish universities the opportunity to develop partnerships with universities in low and middle-income countries. Karolinska Institutet (KI) and Bahir Dar University are partners through the programme.

From 6 March to 17 March 2023, Dr Tilahun Birara and Dr Hailemariam Awoke, specialists in internal medicine and cardiology at the Bahir Dar University, visited MedH as part of the teacher exchange. MedH:s departmental director of education Agneta Månsson-Broberg and the MedH educational team guided the guests throughout their visit.

During the two week visit, the Ethiopian teachers were involved in educational activities and visited the Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and Cardiology clinical departments to share experiences and knowledge. Focus was on interaction with colleagues and students and on undergraduate teaching methodology, especially Team Based Learning (TBL). Dr Birara and Dr Awoke took, among other things, part in a TBL session in gastroenterology and in interactive student case presentations. Dr Birara and Dr Awoke also held a much appreciated clinical case presentation at the weekly Grand Round session hosted by MedH in collaboration with the Karolinska University Hospital.

What surprised you during your experience?

"In Ethiopia our approach to students is a bit different from here where the student- teacher communication and integration is very high. The technology and the teaching methodology here surprised us very much. And also the hospitality shown by all staff and students, making us feel at home, we didn’t expect such a reception. We were also surprised by the snow storm, which indeed was a very new and unexpected experience for us - and we enjoyed it!"

“It’s been an honor and a great opportunity for us to be here and a very interesting experience”.

Dr Hailemariam Awoke, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia.

What made the greatest impression on you during the visit?

"Overall the general patient approach and communication and the medical technology. We are really impressed by the advanced healthcare technology and clinical research conducted here and the way the physicians treat and communicate with their patients. It was also very nice to see the multi-disciplinary team discussions around patient cases and how different units cooperate to serve a common problem".

Looking ahead

"The collaboration between Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia and KI has been really great and we are looking forward to more collaborations with your university and the Karolinska University Hospital. We have learned a lof from this experience, and we are inspired to strengthen our clinical research back home at the Bahir Dar University".