Sister Dr. Rita Schiffer is a gynaecologist who came to Liverpool in 1997 to study the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H), after having completed her medical training in Germany, and then spending time in Ghana.
After completing her course here in Liverpool, Rita moved to Ethiopia where she works to this day. She is a Medical Mission Sister (a Catholic nun) working at the remote Attat Hospital, Gurage province, a centre for maternal health which also runs an extensive integrated health service covering a population of over 1 million people, offering essential and often life-saving in-patient care, as well women’s groups, water and sanitation activities, and village first-aid stations. The hospital has proved to be a model of its kind, being visited by UNICEF, who attempted to replicate its success elsewhere.
Rita is the Medical Director of the hospital, a challenging but rewarding role, which requires providing complex and essential procedures with only basic equipment. Rita is passionate about the standard of, and access to, maternal healthcare in low resource settings.
- Why did you choose to come to Liverpool to study the DTM&H?
I came to LSTM as preparation for my assignment to Ethiopia because I had no background in tropical medicine and I needed a compact course.
- How was your experience of studying here?
My experience was good and interesting!
- How has the DTM&H helped you in your subsequent work?
The DTM&H gave me more confidence for the work I have gone on to do.
- What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that we were/are able to deliver uninterrupted surgical services, especially the provision of Caesarean Sections, at Attat Hospital for the last 49 years, and of the little I was able to contribute to that over the last 20 years.