In 2014, a commitment was formed between Addis Ababa University’s (AAU) College of Health Sciences, School of Dentistry and the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry, culminating in a partnership under the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) umbrella.
The University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry provides its Ethiopian partner school support towards building capacity in oral health care in the region. With only 11 postgraduate specialists and roughly 250 dentists in a country of over 105 million people, the Addis Ababa University School of Dentistry will benefit from advanced training at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. An example of the commitment to helping the school develop postgraduate specialty training programs is in the discipline of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, where AAU has just commenced a specialty training program.
TAAAC Dentistry provides 2 one-month trips to train the undergraduate dental students. In the spring of 2019, the Faculty of Dentistry sent its fifth contingent to advance student and faculty training with the help of several faculty members and two fourth year DDS peer mentors. These contingents support training in Periodontology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Preventive and Restorative Dentistry, and become involved in a collaborative international public health research project. In the fall of 2019, a mixed team of faculty initiated the first training trip for the 12 residents enrolled in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
During the pandemic, TAAAC Dentistry has been able to continue the undergraduate teaching with the use of synchronous virtual lectures. To date, three lecture series have either been given or are about to begin. The content of these lectures has been arranged in conjunction with the needs expressed by the AAU dentistry program leads to complement teaching already occurring at the dental school in Addis Ababa. The lectures were all faculty of dentistry professors and experts in their fields and included some faculty members who have participated in previous teaching trips to AAU. This aspect of teaching enabled TAAAC to continue with its mandate and agreement of supporting the dental faculty in undergraduate education and likely will remain to continue to complement on-site education.
With each visit, we broaden our collaborative teaching opportunities and explore unique opportunities for knowledge exchange.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recently profiled Dr. Nashat Cassim in their CDA Essentials magazine. Dr. Cassim is an alumni of the TAAAC Dentistry program and has been influential in educating the next generation of dentists in Ethiopia.
Program Contact Information
Dr. Joel Rosenbloom