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On August 15, 2017 the pediatric cancer unit at Jimma University Medical Center(JUMC) – developed through a partnership between The Aslan Project and Jimma University – celebrated the first anniversary of its opening. 

Since August 2016, more than 100 children with cancer have received treatment on the unit, under the leadership of Aslan Clinical Director, Dr. Miguel Bonilla, and our two pediatric hematology/oncology fellows, Dr. Diriba Fufa Hordofa and Dr. Doreen Karimi Mutua. To honor this milestone, Professor Mirkuzie Woldie, the Head of the Institute of Health Sciences at Jimma University, addressed patients, families, and unit staff, in addition to remarks from Dr. Bonilla and Dr. Diriba. Also in attendance was Sara Ibrahim, the Executive Director of TAPCCO, Aslan’s parent support group partner, to assist in developing a program of psychosocial support for JUMC families in collaboration with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

On March 3-4, 2017, The Aslan Project joined officials from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), regional hospital physicians, and civil society leaders at the first National Stakeholders Consultative Meeting to Advance Pediatric Cancer Prevention and Control in Ethiopia.


Following the keynote address from Aslan Medical Director, Dr. Aziza Shad, and presentations outlining the existing pediatric oncology capacities of the regional hospitals, the participants at the landmark conference affirmed their commitment to developing a comprehensive and sustainable pediatric cancer health system for the country. Central to this pledge was an agreement to form a National Task Force on Pediatric Cancer, which would be charged in the coming year with developing a National Cancer Control Plan for Pediatric Cancer, as well as a strategic framework for increasing access to treatment and improving standards of care for children with cancer nationwide. Dr. Shad and Aslan Executive Director Julie Broas were honored with appointment to the Task Force. 

From October 19-23, 2016, leaders in global pediatric oncology gathered for the 48th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) in Dublin, Ireland. Members of The Aslan Project’s Medical Advisory Board, including Medical Director, Dr. Aziza Shad, and Drs. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo and Julia Challinor, played key roles through the conference, moderating or serving on numerous panels, including a key symposium on global strategies for and investments in childhood cancer led by senior World Health Organization official, Dr. Andreas Ullrich and including Dr. Kunuz Abdella, the Technical Advisor on Prevention and Control of Cancer at the Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia.

The Aslan Project's work is lauded by Tadias Magazine, a New York-based magazine tailored toward the Ethiopian-American Community.

The Aslan Project and Jimma University, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, the International Society for Paediatric Oncology, and Childhood Cancer International, hosts Ethiopia's first Workshop on Children with Cancer.

The two-year fellowship training program beginning in May 2016 represents the core of the comprehensive pediatric cancer healthcare system that Aslan seeks to develop at Jimma University Medical Center.