The collaboration between the Department of Radiology of the Addis Ababa University (AAU) at the Tikur Anbessa (Black Lion) Hospital and the Department of Radiology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA began in 2008. This was initiated by Dr. Kassa Darge from CHOP, who had been collaborating with the Department at Black Lion since 2001 (before he joined CHOP). The initial focus of the collaboration was to support the radiology residency program at Black Lion. Pediatric radiology faculty from CHOP were regularly rotating to Black Lion Hospital and participating in the teaching process of the residents. These visiting professorships incorporated reading out at the workstations, case presentations, didactic lectures, and hands-on ultrasound and interventional radiology training focused on pediatrics.
Over the years, with the emergence of various pediatric clinical subspecialties like pediatric surgery, pediatric oncology, neonatology, and others, the faculty members at Black Lion urged for establishing a pediatric radiology fellowship. They reasoned that this would create parity with the emerging subspecialties and bring about a higher quality and focused pediatric imaging and intervention service. Following their recommendation, Addis Ababa University (AAU) developed an accredited pediatric radiology curriculum. In 2015 the first two fellows were enrolled in the CHOP-AAU pediatric radiology fellowship program. The program was planned for two years and included an observership rotation at CHOP in Philadelphia and a research year at Black Lion. The teaching was conducted by rotating CHOP faculty members and included distance learning. Drs. Yocabel Gorfu and Daniel Zewdneh, both senior faculty members, were the first to graduate from the program in 2017. They became the first pediatric radiologists in Ethiopia – a country with over a 100 million population, 60% of which is younger than 20 years.
With the creation of the pediatric radiology program, the Department at Black Lion decided to start a separate pediatric service. After the graduation of the two fellows, a Division of Pediatric Radiology was established with Dr. Yocabel Gorfu as the Director. Furthermore, independent of CHOP the Division started its own fellowship program and enrolled two fellows its first year and one additional fellow a year later. The collaboration with CHOP continues, but the responsibility to advance pediatric radiology in Ethiopia is now carried out by local leadership at Black Lion.