Department of Psychiatry

Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project

addis ababa psychiatry projectStarted in 2003, the Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project (TAAPP) is an educational collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and the Department of Psychiatry, Addis Ababa University, to build and sustain the first psychiatry residency program in Ethiopia.  Together, psychiatrists from the University of Toronto and Addis Ababa University have trained 30 Ethiopian psychiatrists in-country bringing the number of psychiatrists in Ethiopia from 11 to 41. There are now 5 departments of psychiatry outside the capital city of Addis Ababa, run by graduates of TAAPP. The mental health system has recently been integrated with the primary care system, improving access to services and necessitating mental health training for all levels of health care workers. As well the Department of Psychiatry at Addis Ababa University is now opening a PhD program and a Masters program in mental health.

Why train psychiatrists?  Mental health is an integral and essential component of health, but for years the only psychiatry training available for Ethiopian doctors was overseas, and very few returned to practice.  The initiation of an Ethiopian psychiatry training program has resulted in a 95% retention rate and the development and scaling up of services and training for all levels of health care professionals.  As the experience of TAAPP demonstrates, positive changes multiply when the number of well trained committed specialists in Ethiopia increases. TAAPP continues to operate three one month teaching trips a year to Addis Ababa, each outgoing teaching group consists of two faculty and a senior resident. TAAPP has become the preferred model of western assistance by Addis Ababa University and is now just one program in a broader educational collaboration called TAAAC (Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration) which started in 2008 and currently involves 15 similar partnerships in 6 faculties at the University of Toronto.

Volunteer faculty wanted!

The Departments of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Addis Ababa University (AAU) have a long standing educational partnership to build capacity and sustainability in the only psychiatry residency program in Ethiopia. We have sent 22 small groups consisting of two psychiatrists and a UofT resident to AAU, Ethiopia for a one month teaching trip. The program has grown and we have together co-trained 33 Ethiopian psychiatrists boosting the number in the country to 44.

Formal teaching takes place on 2-3 afternoons a week – the rest of the week is spent supervising residents in their clinics, in the psychiatric emergency room and on the wards. At weekends there is a chance to travel and see some of the historical sites of Ethiopia. Teaching months are organized twice in the spring (February and April) and once in the fall (October) to miss the long summer rainy season.

Returnee faculty and residents give the experience high ratings. They enjoy the month in Addis and many have been back for a second trip! Please consider volunteering for a month.

Spots available in April 2013.

Your return ticket is paid for, as well as accommodation and transportation to and from the work site in Addis. Accompanying spouses/partners are welcome. Please email or call Will Smid 416 586 4800 x8325; or Clare Pain at 416-586-4800 x8890.

TAAPP Directors
Dr. Clare Pain, MD, FRCPC
Project Director
Mount Sinai Hospital
600 University Avenue, Ste. 934,
Toronto, ON M5G 1X5
Tel: (416) 586-4800  x8890
Fax (416) 586-8654
Prof. Haile Fenta, PhD
Project Director
The Ontario HIV Treatment Network
1300 Yonge Street, Ste. 600
Toronto, ON M4T1X3
Tel (416) 642-6486 x2224
Fax (416) 640-4245