This proposal requests support for a unique Harvard Continuing Medical Education (CME) meeting entitled The Contribution of Anatomic Pathology to the Health of Women and Children, to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia June 12-16, 2011. The meeting is designed to highlight the importance of pathology in helping meet the United Nations'(UN) Millennium Developmental Goals (MDG) to reduce maternal and childhood mortality. Estimates of mortality rates in these two categories are severely hampered by insufficient pathologic data/diagnoses limiting the development of effective strategies for success at achieving the UN MDG. These mortality rates are especially untenable in sub-Saharan Africa where the maternal mortality rate is estimated at from 50 to 100 times that of the United States. Although the reasons for the lack of reliable data are many and complicated, getting accurate diagnoses of the causes of deaths could be a valuable tool to design effective policies for improvement. Currently anatomic pathology access and involvement in Africa and its role in procuring accurate data is limited. A major reason for this lack of involvement is the scarcity of trained pathologists in Africa, especially those with the focused education on maternal and neonatal pathology. Mechanisms to optimize pathology involvement include offering focused educational opportunities to improve diagnostic skills and to coordinate efforts, standardize criteria, inspire interest, and stimulate collaboration. One desperately needed effort is to encourage medical students in Africa to pursue pathology specialization. We hope to facilitate these efforts by having this focused meeting in a sub-Saharan African country, Ethiopia, and offering scholarships for African pathologists and trainees with financial needs. By having the meeting take place in Africa, we hope to stimulate interest from pathologists in developed countries to interact/collaborate with their colleagues from African countries. We plan to offer generous scholarships (full and partial) to pathologists with financial burdens, especially those in training. The course is designed to include lecture based modules on topics related to maternal and children's pathology and workshops for collaboration. We plan to use the workshops to start to develop useful grossing templates, standardization of anatomic diagnoses, and schemas for developing surveillance techniques. By advance arrangement, the lectures and workshop results will be published in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (see attachments).

Public Health Relevance

There is a strong interest in collaboration between pathologists in developing and developed countries especially around the UN Development Goals related to the health of women and children. This course will provide a focused meeting for pathologists to meet over lectures and workshops on issues relating to the health of women and children, especially as they related to maternal and infant mortality. The course will receive medical education credits, an additional incentive for attendance. Lectures will include those specific to women and children's pathology and will include gynecologic, breast, thyroid, infectious, placental, fetal, gastrointestinal, pulmonary, and autopsy pathology. The faculty includes Harvard trained and based academic pathologists and invited respected pathologists from other academic institutions in North America and Africa. Harvard CME courses have a track record of excellence in teaching and satisfaction by the attendees. This course is unique with its location and its focus, and, if successful, we hope to have a biannual conference on similar topics in other sites in Africa.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Conference (R13)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Pediatrics Subcommittee (CHHD)
Program Officer
Ilekis, John V
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
Zip Code