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Dear Friends,

This month, seven pediatricians began their orientation as members of our sixth class of pediatric hematology-oncology (PHO) fellows in Ethiopia.  Trained by our global medical faculty in collaboration with four of our partner institutions, this group will join the nine senior consultants and eleven other current fellows to constitute the largest cohort of PHO physicians in any sub-Saharan African country outside of South Africa.  We are deeply grateful to you, our community of friends and sponsors, for enabling this milestone achievement.

As in the past, the caliber of this fellowship class is exceptional.  Dr. Hawi Babu Mesadi, one of the two PHO fellows at Jimma University Medical Center (JUMC), possesses the talent, dedication, and selflessness that has typified the candidates we’ve been fortunate to train. 

Previously an Assistant Professor of Pediatric and Child Health at Wollega University Specialized Comprehensive Hospital (WUSCH) in western Ethiopia, Dr. Hawi was the top graduate of the 2021 JUMC pediatrics residency program.  During her residency, Dr. Hawi sought out clinical opportunities on the pediatric oncology unit and conducted her graduate research on acute treatment-related complications and outcomes of children with cancer. 

More recently, while at WUSCH, she served as a key partner in the Foundation S-Aslan pediatric cancer satellite clinic project, co-founding and coordinating the development of the WUSCH clinic site that launched last month. Following her graduation, Dr. Hawi will return to WUSCH to join our senior JUMC fellow, Dr. Negeo Tesfaye, in leading the hospital’s transition from a satellite PHO clinic to a full-fledged, comprehensive pediatric cancer program. 

Dr. Hawi recently shared the motivation behind her decision to join the fellowship program:

Based on my deep interest, commitment and experiences, I would take it as a privilege to associate myself with this sub-specialization program prepared by JUMC and The Aslan Project. I believe that it will maximize my clinical experience, allowing me to develop the skills and knowledge to handle and treat childhood cancer-related problems.  By joining this team, I thus will help the communities of my country, Ethiopia, by addressing our lack of PHO-trained manpower and reducing the mortality rate of our children with cancer.

I firmly believe that this fellowship program will give me the exposure and a correct platform to serve my people as much I can.  On my part I can assure you that, with my qualifications and experience accompanied by the knowledge and skill that I will acquire during my study period, I will make a meaningful and significant contribution to my country whenever and wherever possible.

We are honored to be able to train such a visionary and committed physician and leader.  Welcome, Dr. Hawi, to the 2024 PHO fellowship class!

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