The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, and U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach inaugurated a new Comprehensive Outpatient Center (COC) at the University of Gondar Hospital in Gondar in the presence of Amhara Regional State President Ato Gadu Andargachew, Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Health Dr. Keseteberhan Admassu, Minister of Education Ato Shiferaw Shegute, and other high level Government officials, on Sunday, July 6, 2014.
The University of Gondar, serving approximately 5-7 million people throughout most of the region, is well positioned in the Amhara region to provide technical assistance for an effective regional effort to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The new COC is designed to provide an integrated program that will enhance a patient-centered experience and increase the hospital’s capacity to accommodate an ever increasing number of patients.
In partnership with the University of Gondar, the United States has provided USD $9.1 million through the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for the construction of this new facility, with technical assistance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Ambassador Haslach said, “This newly constructed facility is part of the U.S. Government’s commitment to strengthening the national capacity of health facilities to provide comprehensive and integrated HIV/AIDS health care services throughout Ethiopia.”
She noted that through PEPFAR support, more than 60 million dollars have been invested in the construction of eight outpatient facilities, six reference laboratories, and a national public health training center, so that together we can serve patients in the regions where HIV is most prevalent.
The two-story COC, built on 7,360 square meters, features ample space for patient-health worker interactions and creates a welcoming and safe environment for integrated health services for HIV prevention, care and treatment. The facility includes rooms for the provision of HIV care and treatment services for adult and pediatric patients; examinations rooms for tuberculosis (TB) and infectious diseases, medical and surgical outpatient departments, and a casualty unit to support training and care for medical emergencies. The outpatient center also has an ultrasound department, pharmacy, laboratory, and CT Scan and MRI rooms.
In addition, the building is fully accessible to people with physical disabilities designed in accordance with the International Building Code (IBC) standards and the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
The University of Gondar is one of the oldest universities in Ethiopia and is currently celebrating its 60th jubilee. The university has a long historical relation with the U.S government, dating back to the 1950s, with the establishment of the university’s Public Health College thanks to a partnership between the U.S. government’s Point Four program, and the World Health Organization (WHO).