Volunteer with RAD-AID Ethiopia


Ethiopia is a landlocked country in East Africa with a population of over 100 million — 85 percent of whom live in rural areas — making it the second-most populous country in Africa. There is, at most, one doctor per 20,000 people. Ethiopia needs qualified instructors/teachers to train less experienced healthcare workers (Kelto, 2012).

Biopsy training in Ethiopia, 2020

Tikur Anbessa Hospital (known as Black Lion Hospital), affiliated with Addis Ababa University’s School of Medicine, is the country’s largest general public hospital and sees around between 300,000 and 400,000 patients every year, although the exact number is not known. The hospital is the country’s main tertiary referral center, but lack many of the resources needed to meet the enormous number of patients.

Nursing Planning in Ethiopia, 2020

Radiology Services

Currently, Black Lion Hospital has one x-ray (DR) machine, two portable x-ray machines, eight ultrasound machines, two CT machines and one 1.5T MR machine for the massive population of patients.

At Black Lion Hospital, ultrasound is the primary means of diagnosis and is performed entirely by residents. Typical adult studies include evaluation for metastatic work-up, liver masses, cervical masses, obstructive uropathy and lymphoma. Typical pediatric cases include evaluation of abdominal masses, intussusception and genitourinary anomalies, as well as neonatal head ultrasound. Echocardiography is also a common part of the practice, most often used for the evaluation of chronic rheumatic heart disease, hypertensive and ischemic heart disease.

RAD-AID Volunteer lecturing on Ultrasound techniques

Breast imaging services in Ethiopia are currently very limited. Black Lion Hospital does not have a mammography program. However, St. Paul’s Hospital has a new, small mammography program, with the hopes of expanding these services to the enormous at-risk population.

Interventional radiology is a growing field at Black Lion and St. Paul’s Hospitals. Currently, ultrasound and CT guided biopsies are available at Black Lion. St. Paul’s Hospital has a growing interventional radiology program including angiography.