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Korean hospital to build medical college in Ethiopia
By Kirubel Tadesse
The Myungsung Christian Medical Center in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, better known as the Korean Hospital, has embarked on a five phase expansion project at a total cost of 10 million dollars. Founded in 2004 by the Myungsung Presbyterian Church of Korea, the hospital said the project includes the construction of a medical college and memorial church in its 90,000 square metres compound.
The two projects are expected to take five years, according to hospital officials. The first phase of the expansion project will be completed within one year with an investment of some 20 million birr. The medical college will have the capacity to train around 180 medical students and serve as a teaching hospital.
Korean Ambassador to Ethiopia, Soon Suk Chung, said the expansion project is a testimony to the increasing ties of his country to Ethiopia.
Senior Ethiopian Government officials, including State Minister Tadesse Haile and Assefa Kesito, special advisor to the president, teamed up last Tuesday March 23 to lay the foundations for the buildings alongside Mr. Chung and Reverend Sam Hwan Kim, a senior pastor of the founding church who flew in for the ceremony.
"This will scale up the quality of health services of the country and reduce the number of Ethiopians who travel abroad seeking better medical services," said Reverend Sam Hwan Kim.
The hospital pioneered neuro surgery in Ethiopia and is currently training Ethiopian medical doctors to practice the skill.
The entire project is a token of appreciation from church, which is funding the project partly to remember the Ethiopian solders who helped South Korea during its troubled times in the 1950s, according to the pastor.
In 1950, North and South Korea were at war with each other. Ethiopia was among the few countries who contributed troops to the United Nations effort to try and stabilise the country and prevent the South from becoming Communist. According to some historians, South Korea lost over one million people during the war that ended in 1953.
Some Ethiopian veterans of the mission in Korea were present last Tuesday.
"We built this memorial church in the hospital compound to say thank you to the Ethiopian people and soldiers who helped when we were weak during the war," Reverend Sam Hwan Kim added.
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