Zerihun Abebe’s new office looked like a construction zone, with chunks of brick and plaster piled on the floor. Workers recently knocked a big hole in his wall, creating an entryway to his assistant’s office. The renovation is just one part of a much bigger expansion plan led by Abebe, the provost of St. Paul’s Hospital and Millennium Medical College – the University of Michigan’s biggest partner in Ethiopia.
His spacious old office has been converted to an emergency room that’s better able to handle the growing number of patients in the booming capital of Addis Ababa.
“Addis is suddenly full of traffic accidents, and we only have 12 to 14 beds. It’s crazy,” he said. “Everyday, there are 45 to 50 cases showing up that deserve admission, and for most of them we don’t have beds for them. Now, we will have 35 more beds – 50 beds in total.”