Emory-Ethiopia Partnership

This remarkable partnership is transforming patient care & nursing education in Ethiopia.

For over 11 years, the School of Nursing (NHWSN) has maintained meaningful relationships with academic, healthcare, and community partners throughout Ethiopia. These partnerships have evolved over time into one robust, central organization called Emory University Ethiopia. This NGO (non-governmental organization) is dedicated to bringing together important players—families, local leaders, scientists, government orgs, businesses, and others—from across Ethiopia and the Emory Network.

Its purpose? To advance scientific discoveries and deliver well-informed, locally led services to communities based on those discoveries.

The School of Nursing established the in-country office through which almost all Emory-Ethiopia projects and initiatives are run: The Emory University Ethiopia Country Office, directed by Dr. Abebe Gobezayehu. Importantly, much of the research produced by the Emory-Ethiopia partnership is co-authored by scientists across Ethiopia and the US and is having measurable, positive impacts in both countries.

Examples of pivotal NHWSN-sponsored projects designed to meet Ethiopia’s most pressing healthcare needs include:

  • A nationwide initiative to improve maternal-infant health: This work focuses on simple, low- or no-cost health measures that patients, families, and frontline workers can implement on their own. Examples include KMC (formerly known as kangaroo mother care) and the Global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), among others. Many of these projects target the crucial days before and after birth, when mothers and babies are most vulnerable to life-threatening complications.

    “The partnership aspect of this work is critical,” notes Dr. John Cranmer, Principal Investigator for the KMC study. “Scientific evidence runs through our priorities, but this evidence is customized to each local situation—and that’s really the key to affecting change. The connections between global, national, regional, and local players is absolutely essential to ensuring success for the mothers and babies we serve.”
  • The first PhD in nursing program in Ethiopia: This unique program takes place across both Addis Ababa University (AAU) and NHWSN. It’s the first PhD in nursing program in Ethiopia and one of the only PhD programs in Africa to use a hybrid in-person & distance-learning approach.

    Students are prepared to take on important roles as nurse scientists, educators, and national nursing leaders upon graduation. They are encouraged not only to advance knowledge surrounding Ethiopia’s population health needs, but also to sustain the PhD in Nursing Program by eventually assuming AAU leadership and faculty roles themselves.

  • Student-led nursing regulatory change: Emory-AAU PhD in Nursing students are already advocating for a better nursing future in Ethiopia. Learn about one student’s advocacy for national nursing reforms, including the development of a national nursing council to set standards for training, licensure, and continuous professional education.

Want to know more? Questions, including media inquiries, donor, and partner requests, may be directed to Catherine Morrow, media liaison for the School of Nursing.