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About this Course

In an exchange between the Ethiopian emperor and Rockefeller Foundation, American officials contended that there was no capacity in Ethiopia to sustain a school to train physicians – the nation’s population was too uneducated, and infrastructure too undeveloped. Instead of a medical school, the American “Point IV” program, a precursor to USAID, set up a public health training college in Gondar, a mid-size town northwest of Addis Ababa. The Gondar College focused on the training of health officers and community midwives who would work in rural areas, at rudimentary health centres. They were primarily tasked with preventive health through vector control, sanitation, and public health education.

What you’ll learn

For the first time in Ethiopia’s history, women were conscripted as paid professionals at the Gondar College. However, women’s capacity as medical professionals was restricted based on both internal and foreign bias against their gender and nationality. Instructors from the World Health Organization emphasised the primarily caring, supportive nature of Gondar midwives: they were not trained to handle obstetric emergencies or provide curative services, but were instead asked to teach Ethiopian mothers proper sanitation, nutrition, and child-rearing.

Male health officers were similarly trained to focus on prevention over cure, but were still granted authority over female midwives, and the women were told to call on male health officers in the case of birth complications.

The restrictions placed on Ethiopians trained in medicine were symbolic of larger tensions between the independent African nation and its foreign supporters. While Ethiopia had never been subject to sustained, colonial occupation like neighbouring African nations, a colonial mindset on Africa’s place and capacity in relation to Western medicine were fixed and applied to Ethiopia.

Haile Selassie intended Ethiopia to have a robust, Western-style health system, with indigenous doctors, administrators, and health officers. Instead, foreign officials consistently ignored the emperor’s requests, preferring a “low-tech,” preventative medical approach, asserting that this was more “appropriate” to Ethiopian needs, culture, and capacity.

Course Topics

This Courses is Free for all Guest members.

10 Topics in 15 weeks

Quizz 1er after 2 weeks — 10%

1-Homework after 4 weeks- 30%

Intra after 8 weeks-  20%

2- Homework after 10 weeks-  15%

Quiz after 12 weeks — 10%

Final after 15 weeks –15%


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