Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, is a country rich in history and culture. Music plays a huge part culturally with around 80 different ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds through their music.

Despite developments being made within the healthcare system in Ethiopia, the health system still lacks facilities and trained professionals, especially in therapeutic fields. The experience of using music as a therapeutic tool for health and wellbeing purposes by individuals on a professional level or by any organisations are non-existent. This is something we have been invited to change.

Activities and Impact to Date

In early 2016, Ethiopian Surgeon and Musician Dr. Melkamu Meaza sent us an expression of interest for introductory training for care professionals in his network who he felt would welcome the opportunity to learn how music can be used within care and treatment. In 2017, Music Therapist and Music as Therapy International’s former UK and International Programmes Manager, Lindsay McHale, visited Ethiopia to undertake a feasibility study in the three care settings proposed by Dr. Melkamu Meaza.

This visit enabled us to start planning for an introductory training project we intend to deliver in the autumn of 2018 to the following care settings:

  1. Gefersa Mental Health Rehabilitation Centre is the only mental health rehabilitation institution in the whole of Ethiopia, located about 20km northwest of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. The Centre offers professional psychiatric treatment, boarding and rehabilitative occupational therapy to 200 patients.
  2. The Ethiopian National Association on Intellectual Disability (ENAID) is a local non-profit making and parental association, which provides services for 80 children and adults with a range of disabilities at its day care centre in Addis Ababa. It also serves around 400 children with special needs at its outreach sites in public schools.
  3. Hospice Ethiopia was founded in 2003 and is the first and only hospice in Ethiopia, located in Addis Ababa. Its aim is to improve the quality of life of patients, with incurable diseases particularly cancer and/or HIV and AIDS, and the patients’ families through provision of palliative care and support services.

Current Activities

We are currently preparing to deliver this introductory training project and will be recruiting a music therapist and an assistant to deliver it with us in the autumn. If you are interested to apply, please click here for more information.

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