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In January 2013, the East African Training Initiative (EATI), a two-year fellowship training program in pulmonary and critical care medicine, was launched under the leadership of Dr. Neil Schluger, chief of Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at Columbia University, and Dr. Charles Sherman of Brown University. It is the first training program of its kind in Ethiopia.

The path to this historic moment took two years of careful planning. In March 2011, Dr. Asqual Getaneh the then chief executive of Addis Ababa University (AAU) School of Medicine identified the need to train specialists in pulmonary medicine. However, both local funding and expertise were limited. After discussion with the leadership of World Lung Foundation (WLF)*, a site visit and need assessment by Dr. Neil Schluger and Dr. E. Jane Carter took place in January 2012. Subsequently, with close coordination among AAU, Tikur Anbessa (Black Lion) Specialized Hospital and the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, a memorandum of understanding between WLF and AAU was signed in April 2012. The initial funding for EATI was provided by the World Lung Foundation and the Swiss Lung Foundation.

*World Lung Foundation is a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving lung health in low- and middle-income nations.

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