Christmas was a sad day here. I spent the morning operating at the government hospital on a young woman with advanced ovarian cancer. She is still nursing her youngest. There is no place to send her here that has an expert, so she was cared for by the doctor I worked with the last year and myself. The surgery went as well as it could have. She is recovering well and will be able to get chemotherapy. While finishing the surgery, I got called to examine a nine year old that had been raped. Not a Christmas anyone hopes for.
The population of Ethiopia is around 90 million people. There are about 180-190 obstetrician- gynecologists in the entire country. There is not a single gynecologic oncologist. There are 3 or 4 oncologist and a total of 16 beds, yes, 16 beds for the entire country for chemotherapy. The numbers are dismal at best. The OB/GYN that I worked with at the government hospital has been accepted into a gynecologic oncology training program in Milan, Italy. He has to figure out how to pay for his rent, food, transport, etc to go. He plans on returning to Ethiopia when he is finished. This could make a huge difference for the women and children of Ethiopia. If you know of any programs, grants, scholarships, private donors, etc that could help him, please let me know.
There is an Ethiopian saying that goes like this, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” If you all could throw out some webs, we can do this!