First phase to cost upwards of USD 18 million
The Kingdom of Qatar is set to build a kidney treatment center within the capital.
Believed to cost upwards of USD 18 million in its first phase, it also includes a teaching hospital for local aspiring medical professionals. The fund will be sourced from the Qatar Fund for Development, the development arm of the Gulf nation.
This is to be the latest gesture within Ethiopia, whose relationship was suspended in 2008 amid accusations of meddling in the internal issues of the nation, specifically with the Somali region of Ogaden.
The agreement was signed between Tebeje Berhe, the Director of Middle East with the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry and Misfer Hamad-Al-Shahwani, the Director General of the Qatar Fund.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) visited Qatar in March of this year and had an audience with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, both promising to improve the bilateral economic cooperation in areas of health, infrastructure, education and tourism growth.
Qatar has further promised to help Ethiopia's public health sector, whose 100 million plus population heavily relies on, and remains vulnerable and in need of more government investment.
The Ethiopian Kidney Association sees the disease as "A serious public health problem affecting hundreds of thousands of people regardless of age and gender."
"Proteinuria is one of the three leading causes of maternal mortality. Post-partum hemorrhage or major bleeding after giving birth is among the causes that lead to acute kidney injury in young women. Thus, the risk of women exposure to kidney related disease increases. CKD affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in woman, with close to 600, 000 deaths attributed to the disease each year." Its president, Lissane Seifu (MD) reflected on the World Kidney Day that falls on March 8th.
As medical tourism gains more popularity within a small segment of the population, to nations such as India, Thailand and Kenya; there are still few specialized medical centers within the nation. It is to be recalled, the first kidney transplant in Ethiopia took place in 2015 at St. Paul's Hospital.