About Us

PAESOE was setup with the following objectives. For more detailed information, please read the memorandum section that follows.

Current executive committee members:

  1. Melese Takele: President of PAESOE
  2. Fitsum Taye: Vice-president
  3. Solomon Gurmu: Communication/PR
  4. Solomon worku: Secretarian
  5. Gumechis Amenu: Cashier
  6. Girma Abdissa: Internal auditor
  7. Alehegn worku: Member

Memorandum of Professional Association of Emergency Surgical Officers of Ethiopia (PAESOE)

August 25-26, 2013, Mekelle, Ethiopia



The scarcity of human power for health in Ethiopia especially in the area of maternal health and surgical care has been a daunting challenge up until now. Despite several attempted interventions over the years to overcome the problem, the situation is still the same as maternal health indicators tell. Maternal mortality ratio of our country has even increased by 3 per 100 000 live births from what was estimated in 2005. Evidence proves that the human workforce is essential for the health system and proves that the health system improves drastically with improvements on all categories of health care.

Our country is a host of 90 million citizens and hence needs more health professionals and clinicians of our category. We are highly appreciative to our government to open this program and enjoy the life time practice of medicine; equally, we are appreciative that the yearly intake of all categories of higher health professionals (speciality training) by medical faculties has tremendously increased to improve the output of qualified health professional.

Delegation of major obstetric and surgical procedures, especially emergency has been in practice in Ethiopia for a long time involving health officers, field surgeons, and other health personnel since the beginning the 17 years (1975 through 1991) civil war in the country. During those times, field surgeons and health officers were doing trauma and war surgery essentially. They were also helping obstetric patients who were in need of surgical interventions. After the end of the civil war, the MoH of Ethiopia along with donor agents had been training health officers in emergency surgery and obstetrics for six months. This training was uneven and of poor quality with respect to skills acquired and decision making and had phased out shortly. Lack of emergency surgical and obstetric care in rural districts of Ethiopia is still a major problem to address the daunting challenge of maternal mortality.

Understanding the huge unmet need of CEmOC and serious shortage of trained doctors in surgery and obstetrics, in 2008, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education of Ethiopia jointly developed a curriculum at masters degree level to train Health Officers in Emergency Surgery and Obstetrics for a two years intensive course and one year internship to produce 1000 competent Emergency Surgical Officers in 5 years. In January 2009 the first ever intake (25 Health officers) of trainees was launched in Mekelle University. Currently 10 universities are conducting the training (Mekelle, Jimma, Hawassa, Harramaya, Gonder and Wollo, Addis Ababa university St. Paul Millennium school of Medicine, Mizan Tepi ,Adama, and Arbaminch universities) with more than 200 candidates enrolled.

The integrated emergency surgery and obstetric training is offered by the medical faculties of the universities. So far over 185 Emergency surgical officers have graduated from five universities with Mekelle, Jimma and Hawassa graduating twice and Gondar and Harramaya once each. These new surgical officers are posted in remote rural district hospitals of the country. These NCPs are now performing major surgeries and obstetric interventions like caesarean sections, hysterectomies, instrumental vaginal deliveries and laparotomies. And this has improved the availability of CEmOC in the rural districts where they are serving.

Even so, the road to successful implementation of task shifting is not smooth. There are numerous obstacles facing this program in Ethiopia: resistance from many physicians from prestigious point of view, poor facility readiness, shortage of anaesthetists, midwives, shortage of supplies, and poor incentive package to the emergency surgical officers and lack of future career path. Understanding the importance of these categories of cadres in the health taskforce, the MOH of Ethiopia is undertaking rapid and intensive upgrading and renovation of health centers to make primary hospitals in Weredas (Sub-districts) of the country. It is also working on improvement of incentive packages to retain these ESOs at remote rural hospitals.

In the era of countdown to 2015 MDGs, task shifting has withstood the test of time as an effective and viable alternative in providing CEmOC services where there is obviously a huge shortage of trained specialists in the field, less than 600 obstetricians and surgeons combined for 90 million Ethiopians. In light of this fact, the training of emergency surgical officers in Ethiopia can be taken as a big step towards meeting the demand of appropriately trained health task force for CEmOC and is a timely lesson for countries with similar problems.

We strongly believe that we are in the right time to act and work together to make our voices heard for issues related to our professional category. The impetus for the formation of the association arises from the fact that we are neither physicians/doctors nor health officers working in public health activities. We cannot fit for all the existing medical professional associations in our country. We are non-physician/non-doctor clinicians or according to the WHO definition advanced associate clinicians offering comprehensive emergency obstetric and surgical cares in primary hospitals of our country.

ESO definition: ESO defines an advanced associate clinician who is registered as “Emergency Surgical Officer” who has completed a graduate degree MSc in Integrated Emergency General surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology (IEGSOG curriculum, 2009). The advanced associate registered practitioner assumes responsibility and accountability for diagnosis and management of emergency general surgical, obstetric and Gynaecologic conditions. ESO are not only limited to patient centered clinical activities but also, can conduct research activities, responsibility to train and educate their fellow colleagues and also in consultation and leadership.

Name of the association

The association is called Professional Association of Emergency Surgical Officers of Ethiopia, abbreviated as “PAESOE”.

Objectives of the association

Rules of the association


The association’s members shall consist of all ESO working in emergency surgery and obstetrics in priority hospitals and upgraded health centers chosen by MOH or Health Bureaus of Regions. Anyone outside clinical activity like; NGOs, private practice is not legible to become member of our association.

Register of Members

The names, contact addresses, year and university of graduation shall be listed and the registration will be kept up dated periodically. ESO student members can also be registered.

Office bearers of the Association

The associations office bearers shall be the president of the association, the vice-president of the association, secretary and liaison personnel


The association will have annual general assembly by which performance, financial flow, research works, clinical experience sharing and different topics will be discussed. Venue of meetings will be decided up on the preceding annual congress. The peer review and financial standing committees will have their meetings as required quarterly.

Finance standing committee

The purpose of finance standing committee is primarily to run all the available financial and material wealth that can be acquired from ministry of Health or any local or international donor/sponsor with clear flow and to prevent any act of fraud. The finance standing committee will also have mandate to look at and propose financial grants for problem solving scientific original interventional research projects and allowances for relevant trainings.

Scientific Peer review Committee

The association will have at least five scientific peer review committee members of which one will be a Biostatistician. The other four will be ESO or beyond who have at least two publications in a peer reviewed journal. The role of the SPRC will be to look at relevant; i.e. maternal health and emergency surgery article proposals for research grants, review papers for originality, scientific, and value, and ethics before publication on the yearly journal of the association

Journal of the association

ESOAE will have its own yearly journal up on which update of maternal health and emergency surgical care of our country status will be displayed, peer-reviewed scientific articles will be published, best practices and evidence-based medical experiences will be shared among many other things. The journal will be named as “Journal of Obstetrics and Emergency Surgery” with a background logo of “promoting quality service to the under-served”.

Affiliation of the association

The association will be an affiliate member of Ethiopian medical association under the auspices of Ministry of Health of Ethiopia after an official grant of green light as a formal registered non profit making domestic professional association by ministry of justice.

Head office

The head quarters of the associations will be at Mekelle at present and will shift to Addis Ababa as logistic and financial capabilities permit.

Steering committee members

Goitom Berhane Haileselassie
[email protected]
Korem District Hospital

Solomon Abayneh
[email protected]
Mehal Medda Hospital, Amhara

Debele Soboka
Abomssa Hospital, Oromia

Birtukuan Bizuayehu

Melese Takele
[email protected]
Sekota hospital Amhara region