Israeli Doctors Perform Ethiopia’s First Scoliosis Surgery

A multidisciplinary team of doctors from Israel’s Hadassah Medical Organization participated in a week-long mission to perform spinal surgeries at an Ethiopian hospital that does not currently have a medical professional in this capacity. The eight doctors, two nurses, and physical therapist that participated represented Hadassah Medical Center, which has a standing cooperative relationship with the local Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital. The partnership includes visits and rotations from Israeli medical students in the Mekelle-based institution, while teams from Ayder visit the Jerusalem-based medical center for training. The Hadassah team, equipped with medical equipment donated by Medtronic, performed several surgeries on minors with extreme and life-threatening spinal deformities, notably performing the first successful scoliosis back surgery in the African country. Each team member strongly felt compelled to positively impact people with limited resources, but for one member, there was an especially strong connection; deputy head nurse of recovery at Hadassah Mount Scopus Orna Tedesu-Solomon, is Ethiopian born, and felt both honored and compelled to be able to serve her compatriots. “I am so proud to be able to come back to Ethiopia for the first time in 27 years as a nurse and to be part of the team that helps [these patients] have quality of life.”