College of Medicine and Health Science

College of Health Sciences

Debre Tabor University (DTU) take itself a lofty mission of the “Historical duty to answer Emperor Tewodros’s quest for knowledge” by putting quality and problem-solving education at the center stage. In line with this mission, College of Health Sciences (CHS) was established in 2013 with three departments, namely; Anesthesia, Medicine and Midwifery. In keeping with its mission to provide quality education, the college has developed an “innovative curriculum” for undergraduate medical midwifery and nursing specialty programs, in collaboration with Jhpiego Ethiopia, which can produce medical doctors and midwives with leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This “Hybrid innovative curriculum” was built on strengths of the traditional curriculum and incorporating innovative and transformative features highlighted in the SPICES model (student-centered, problem-based, integrated, community-based, elective, and systematic) and other global recommendations on instructional designs. With its significant achievement in implementing the innovative curriculum; the college is now moving towards making Anesthesia, Medical Laboratory Science and Generic nursing curricula to be innovative. The innovative curriculum has its own educational strategies for effective implementation; Alignment (learning hierarchy, domain of education, learning outcomes, teaching and assessment methods), Student-centered, Problem based learning (PBL), Integration (vertically and horizontally), Team-teaching, Community based education, Planned and practice based learning and Whole group session (students-faculty discussion). For effective implementation of the curriculum, the college assigned coordinators for each arms of the curriculum (Biomedical, Clinical and SPH). The rough design of the hybrid innovative curriculum is shown below.


Address: College of Health Sciences, Debre Tabor University

Tel: +251-0588419050


  1. Departments (Anesthesia, Medicine, Midwifery, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing):
  • Anesthesia

It is one of the departments launched during the establishment of the college in 2013 with 15 students. In 2015/16, the department has three batches of students with a total of 54 students. For effective exposure to clinical cases, students are transferred to hospitals at year two and attached to other sites at year three and supplemented with skills lab to gain basic anesthetic skills. The department has a total of nine staffs (two Lecturers, three assistant lecturers and four graduate assistants) and moving towards making the curriculum hybrid innovative and problem solving, which is found to be effective in making teaching student centered and lifelong learner with required competencies.

  • Medicine

The department was opened in 2013 with 60 students to produce competent, compassionate and committed doctors that would meet the present and future priority health needs of the Ethiopian population and fulfill international standards for medical education. The curriculum we are implementing is a hybrid innovative and competency based. The core competencies medical students must demonstrate at the point of graduation are defined after the existing local and international documents on learning outcomes were critically reviewed.  These competencies were then organized in to eight themes: 1). Scientific foundation of medicine, 2). Clinical skills, 3). Population health and health systems, 4). Communication skills, 5). Professionalism, 6). Management of information, 7). Critical thinking, practice-based improvement and research; and 8). Inter-professional collaborative practice. With these core competencies, medical students will take three qualification exams: Step I from pre-clerkship II to clerkship I and Step II from clerkship III to internship. After successful completion of their internship, students will sit for national qualification exam that will be prepared by the National Board of Examination (NBE). The years of study and duration is given as below.

In 2015/16 academic year, the department has three batches of students and 48 physicians (5 specialists, 18 residents and 23 GPs).

  • Midwifery

The department was launched in 2013 with the objective of producing competent professional midwives who are able to provide a promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative midwifery reproductive health services at all levels of health care system. The curriculum we are implementing is a hybrid innovative and competency based. The core competencies Midwife students must demonstrate at the point of graduation are determined by critical adaptation of existing local (the 2010 Ethiopian harmonized BSc degree midwifery curriculum) and international documents on learning outcomes defined by International confederation of midwives (ICM) were critically reviewed. These core competencies were then organized in to eleven themes: 1). Social, epidemiologic and cultural context of maternal and newborn care, 2). Pre-pregnancy care and family planning, 3). Provision of care during pregnancy, 4). Provision of care during labor and birth, 5). Provision of care for women during the postpartum period, 6). Newborn and Child Health Care, 7). Abortion and gynecology care, 8). Inter-professional collaboration and communication, 9). Professionalism (Professional Values, Attitudes, Behavior and Ethics), 10). Management and leadership, and 11). Basic nursing care. With these competencies, students will take qualification exam (internal comprehensive and external exam) to progress to professional midwifery practice. The program is designed for a 4-years study duration.  In the first one year, students acquire foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes in biomedical sciences, patient-midwife relationship and public health. In the next two years, students will take life cycle based midwifery care modules that provide basic knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to practice midwifery profession. At their 4th year, midwives will be attached for autonomous midwifery professional practice. Specialty areas include; Reproductive health, Clinical midwifery, Midwifery education, Emergency obstetrics, Maternity nursing and Child health. The structure and durations of each year are given below.

In 2015/16, the department has three batches in the regular program, two batches in the upgrade program, one batch in extension and one batch in the summer with a capacity of approximately 300 students. The department in 2015/16 academic year has 20 staffs (7 Lecturers, 8 at study leave & 5 Graduate assistants).  The department has also future plans to start MSc programs in midwifery.


  • Medical Laboratory Science (MLS)

The department was launched in 2015/16 academic year by taking 32 students with the objectives of training medical laboratory science practitioners capable of providing comprehensive laboratory services in hospitals, regional laboratories and health centers and able to give training to subordinate laboratory personnel and conducting research and participate in community services in the area of clinical laboratory sciences and public health based on the existing problems and needs of the society. We are implementing the 2013 Ethiopian Medical Laboratory Science harmonized curriculum designed for a 4 years study duration. The curriculum tried to give greater emphasis on the learning in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies within courses and modules and focuses on how learners learn and design effective learning environments – strengthening the relationship between the world of education and the world of work.

MLS professionals work in hospitals, health centers, industrial medical laboratories, pharmaceutical houses, and research centers working with disease studies, and as faculty of training institutions preparing medical laboratory personnel. Specialty areas include: Medical/clinical chemistry, Microbiology, Parasitology, Blood bank/immunohematology, Hematology, Immunology, Cyto-technology and Molecular biology/genetics. The department has a total of 9 teaching staffs (5 Lecturers, 4 Graduate assistants) and planned to develop innovative curriculum, which is found to be effective in making teaching student centered and lifelong learner with required competencies.

  • Nursing

Nursing department was launched in 2014 with the aim of training BSc nursing specialties (neonatal, pediatrics, OR, and others of national interest). Nursing works in the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people. The department is working towards training competent nurses that will work on improving health care practice; providing high quality promotional, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services for the community; conducting problem based health and health related researches that will help to address the communities’ problems. With key nursing roles in health promotion, safe environment, research, health policy and systems management and education and based on national needs and interests, the department has future plans to launch programs in the undergraduate and postgraduate studies. To this end, the department is conducting need assessment for BSc Generic and psychiatric nursing to open it by next year/2009 E.C. Currently, the department has two batches of upgrade neonatal nursing, one batch of upgrade pediatrics and child health nursing and one batch extension in the continuing program. For effective implementation of these programs, the department has 13 staffs (2 Lecturers, 3 at study leaves and 8 Graduate assistants).

  1. Coordinators (Biomedical, Clinical, Skills Lab, SPH, EDC)
  • Biomedical Science

Founded in 2013 with the establishment of the college to support the implementation of the innovative hybrid curriculum of the Medical and Midwifery curricula. With its best effort, the department has established five biomedical science laboratories and tried to equip them with basic materials. Students are engaged in practical session for the theoretical aspects of their education given in the class. The department is trying to make the teaching learning process practice based.  The department currently has 14 staffs (9 lecturers, 2 at study leave and 3 Graduate assistants)


Partial view of Biomedical Science Labs


  • Clinical Science

This unit was established for the best implementation of the innovative curriculum. It follows the proper implementation of clinical site teaching and attachments. As the curriculum needs early clinical exposure for its better implementation, the unit is striving towards competency and case based teaching in hospitals/health center.

  • Skills Laboratory

Knowledge, skill and attitude are the domains of education that determines the competencies of any professional. The skills lab was established in 2013 during the establishment of the college to give students chance to improve their skills in simulation centers before they go for clinical sites.

  • Social and Population Health (SPH)

Established in 2013 under college of health sciences, SPH is playing a major role in the design and implementation of the hybrid innovative curriculum, educational philosophy and strategy of the University. Lead by independent coordinator, it provides teaching services in the hybrid innovative curricula modules for undergraduate Medical, Midwifery and Nursing students and courses for Anesthesia, Medical laboratory and midwifery and nursing extension students.

To have holistic health care professionals, starting from the first year; Medical, Midwifery and Nursing students are deployed to the community to conduct weekly community visits guided by their instructors and checklists & finally prepare, report, present and discussed in seminars. In addition to the weekly community visits, students will have phases of community based training program (CBTP) every year until their year of graduation. This equips students the necessary knowledge to diagnose community health problems and design, conduct, analyze, present and report small scale research and conduct social, environmental, reproductive and nutritional surveys and interventions. At the end of the day, students will be assigned to conduct team training program (TTP) and Student Research Projects (SRP).

With quality community based education, the SPH is striving to produce competent, communicative, confidential, entrepreneurial, socially empathic, ethical and compassionate health professionals, who can provide quality professional services for individuals, family and the community at large. The department also sets future plans to begin postgraduate studies in epidemiology, reproductive health and general public health. Furthermore, it has plans to establish demographic surveillance survey (DSS) site under the umbrella of Guna Tana Integrated Field Research and Development Centre (GTIFRDC) of the University established for two purposes: 1). To create opportunities for students to learn by doing, have real experiences on their learning and 2). To integrate education, research and service aimed at improving the lives of society. The department currently has 17 staffs (1 Assis. Prof., 6 Lecturers, 4 at study leave and 6 Graduate assistants).


  • Health Science Educational Development Center (HSEDC)

College of health sciences established health science education development center (HSEDC) to lead and coordinate quality assurance and program monitoring and evaluation. Quality assurance is guided by educational standards and benchmarks defined by the World Federation of Medical Education and the Higher Education Relevance and Quality Agency (HERQA). HSEDC was established:

  • To oversee the implementation of curriculum, develop standard guidelines for teaching and assessment and make necessary adjustments along the way by establishing curriculum review committee.
  • To self-review educational inputs, processes and outputs (including human resources, physical infrastructure, teaching/learning processes in classroom, skills lab, biomedical lab, clinical and community setting, student and performance assessment, management and governance) semi-annually.
  • To organize regular faculty development and support programs on instructional methods, technical updates, research, leadership, etc.
  • To develop and maintain exam banks and coordinate, review and administer student assessments.
  • To evaluate teaching/learning effectiveness by systematic collection of feedback from students midway and at the end of each module or attachment and use it for program improvement.
  • To follow evaluations of instructors and their peers and modules/rotations at the end of module delivery.
  • To undertake annual assessments of the program by the teaching staff.
  • To prepare exit interviews at graduation and for all those who drop out for any reason.
  • To monitor students’ pass rate in national qualification (pre-licensure) exam and comparing it with other schools.
  • To establish alumni of graduates as a mechanism to assess their career choice and development.
  • To evaluate graduates’ performance including obtaining feedback from employers and society and use the information for program improvement.
  • To review curriculum every four/six years to be led by the curriculum committee under the HSEDC.