Boru moved to the United States when he was 17 years old, after his father’s death. He graduated from UNC in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science, the only program of its kind in the state.
“I tell people this,” Boru said. “I graduated Sunday and I started working on Tuesday because I just got hired at one of my clinical sites right after graduation.”
According to the World Health Organization, over half of the world lacks radiology services. Joy Renner, director of the Division of Radiologic Science, spoke about the division’s emphasis on global work.
“Here in the U.S., pretty much anybody thinks that within five miles, they could probably get radiology services, unless you live somewhere that doesn’t have electricity, you can have radiology,” Renner said. “But you go to other countries and that’s not true. They may or may not have access to begin with because there’s limited numbers of facilities available and trained staff. That’s why we’re trying to bridge the gap a little bit on the education piece and give support to countries that really want to offer extended and better services to their patients.”
As part of this global work, Boru is involved with RAD-AID, a non-profit that works with regions of the world that lack radiology services.
Last year, Boru traveled to Ethiopia for the first time in 10 years with RAD-AID. Black Lion Hospital, a tertiary hospital in the capital city, received a new MRI machine, and Boru helped train technologists to use it.
“That was very personal for me because it’s the hospitals that my dad went to, it’s the hospitals that I went to when I was sick when I was younger,” Boru said. “And again, it was very emotional because you see what they don’t have and what they could get.”
Prior to this trip, Boru traveled to Malawi with RAD-AID and served as the country report program manager for four years, helping to find resources for research and write about the health care systems and radiology services in different countries.
Professor Melissa Culp, chief operating officer of RAD-AID, spoke about the importance of Division of Radiologic Science’s partnership with RAD-AID in engaging with global work in January at the UNC School of Medicine Office of International Activities’ Global Forum.
“Everyone should have access to what they need to live a healthy life,” Culp said. “We need to meet people where they are to achieve that vision for the future.”
Boru said he hopes to continue with international work to give back in the best way possible.
To honor his parents, Boru established the Endeshaw and Etagegnhu scholarship in 2016. A $1,000 scholarship, it assists students who are interested in traveling internationally to support radiology.
“For me, I'm a product of being given a lot by this country, by this division, by this department, by the people who mentor me” Boru said.
Boru said he feels fortunate to be in the position he is in.
“It’s not a choice, Boru said. "I have to make it count.”