First Successful Kidney Transplants Conducted in Ethiopia


Ethiopia has conducted its first successful kidney transplants with the help of US university surgeons.

Three kidney transplants have been successfully completed at St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – the first in the country. A team from the University of Michigan has been helping Ethiopia establish a kidney transplant programme for the last two years.

A huge step for Ethiopia

The three patients in question all received kidneys from living donors and all participants are reported to be doing well. The successful procedures signify a big step for Ethiopia, meaning people suffering from kidney disease have a realistic solution for the first time.

Until now, patients in Ethiopia have had no treatment available, aside from expensive dialysis or leaving the country – neither of which are affordable. US university surgeons have played a major role in developing the programme over the last two years.

“We’ve been working for more than two years to establish the kidney transplants program in Ethiopia, and the team is so proud to be a part of this historic milestone for the country,” a U-M Medical School professor said. “The real winners are the patients with kidney disease who up until now have had no treatment option other than very expensive dialysis that some just can’t afford.”

A step in the right direction

The first kidney transplants in Ethiopia are a big milestone in a country where medical procedures are not always available. The most skilled doctors and surgeons often leave Ethiopia to earn more money and work in better conditions, which leaves the country suffering a medical “brain drain”.

The programme carried out by US university medics and Ethiopian surgeons proves the country is capable of performing complex procedures and – more importantly – developing its medical sector. Such progress will need to continue if Ethiopia wishes to hold on to its best talent and provide better health services to the public.


Featured image:
flickr photo shared by Tareq Salahuddin under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license