There is a land of sailing ships, a land beyond the rivers of Cush, which sends its envoys by the Nile, journeying on the waters in vessels of the reed. Go swift messengers, go to a people tall and smooth skinned, to a people dreaded near and far, a nation whose land is scoured by rivers.
At present., several international NGO's from Italy, Germany, and USA are working in Ethiopia to develop " in-situ" cardiac surgery.
In cooperation with the Ethiopian Children's Heart
Fund (ECHF) and Rick Hodes MD, a medical missionary to Ethiopia, a number of
young adults with rheumatic heart disease, underwent free open heart
surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, MA.
The ECHF has established relationships with other humanitarian NGO's,
including Children's Heart Link, Healing the Children Midwest, and Save a
Child's Heart from Israel. Children's Heart Link has a long established
relationship with Ethiopia. Many patients and health care personnel
have gone to Minneapolis for free surgery and training. Hopefully, the
ECHF, under the leadership of Cardiologist Belay Abegaz MD (third from left
in photo below) will realize the
dream of having a comprehensive cardiac care center with diagnostic,
interventional, and open heart surgery capability.
|Unique among African countries,
the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule,
one exception being the Italian occupation of 1936-41. In 1974 a military
junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930)
and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings,
wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally
toppled by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary
Democratic Front (EPRDF), in 1991. A constitution was adopted in 1994 and
Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A two and a half
year border war with Eritrea that ended with a peace treaty on 12 December
2000 has strengthened the ruling coalition, but has hurt the nation's