Professor Tony Magana, Academic Neurosurgeon in Ethiopia
Professor Tony Magana, Academic Neurosurgeon in Ethiopia

Current Position

Professor Tony Magana, M.D. is  Professor in Neurosurgery and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery at Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital and jointly appointed to serve as PhD Candidate Advisor and Faculty in Clinical Anatomy and Neurobiology in the Institute of Basic Sciences at the School Of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He performs evaluations and surgery for patients with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, spine, and peripheral nerves including brain tumors, brain hemorrhage, head injury, hydrocephalus, congenital disorders involving the skull, spine, or brain, spinal trauma, spinal tumors, infections of the brain and spine, degenerative diseases of the spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) including stenosis, subluxation, and disc herniation. Current research interests include studying the occurrence and contributing factors to spina bifida in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. At the current time and until further notice Professor Tony Magana is functioning as an online consultant and teacher for Mekelle University in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Anatomy as well as the Medical School.


He is involved in teaching medical students, post graduate surgical residents, neurosurgery residents and fellows at Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital. General surgery trainees are trained to perform basic neurosurgical skills in trauma and hydrocephalus which they will carry on in regional and academic Ethiopian facilities after graduation. Neurosurgery residents and fellows are trained to practice in Ethiopia and surrounding countries according to standards set by the College of Surgery for South, Central, and East Africa and recommended by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.


Contact Professor Tony Magana on this website page.


Directs Neurosurgery Residency and Fellowship Programs

Under the Professor Tony Magana the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University has the following post graduate training programs:

1. A five year neurosurgical residency program run under the aspices of the Ministry of Health and Mekelle University which is approved by the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and South Africa and recognized by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies. Applicants apply through the National Matching Program run by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health. Applicants must be general practioners and be sponsored by a regional health bureau, ministry of health, university, or approved private hospital. Each year four applicants are selected based upon written examination, interviews, and medical school academic performance.

2. A three year Neurosurgical fellowship for fully trained general surgeons is beginning in January 2018.There are limited number of vacancies for these positions. Applicants from outside Ethiopia will need to seek approval from the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health.


Research and Advisory Roles

Additionally he works with university and regional authorities in carrying out health care development for Ethiopia. 


Along with a multidisciplinary team composed of an embryologist, pediatrician, public health PhD's, and obstretic gynecologist from Mekelle University College of Health Science, Professor Tony has participated in the first major prospective studies of neural tubal defects in Ethiopia which revealed high levels of incidence. He serves as an advisor on developing a neuroscience PhD program at Mekelle University.


Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital and Mekelle University School of Medicine

The Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital commenced rendering its referral and non-referral services in 2008 to the 12 million population in its catchment areas of the Tigray, Afar and Southeastern parts of the Amhara Regional States in Ethiopia. Over the past year Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital has also informally become the neurosurgical referral center for Eritrea with many patients coming for surgery. It provides a broad range of medical services to both in and out patients of all age groups. As such, the Hospital can be designated as the most advanced medical facility, by all accounts, in not only the Northern part of the country but in Africa and that it stands as the second largest hospital in the nation. With a total inpatient bed capacity of more than 500 beds in four major departments and other specialty units, the Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital is used as the main teaching hospital for the College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University.


Having above 109 specialist physicans in the various areas of medical specializations, 300 post graduate residents and fellows,  and fairly adequate numbers of all the other health professionals constituting the health care team, the Hospital is now emerging as a shining hot spot for advanced medical care and treatment in the Northern parts of Ethiopia. With the day-by-day rising patient flow that has already exceed 100,000 per year, the Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital has made remarkable achievements in equipping itself with advanced medical equipments, supplies and facilities over the last four years. The recently commissed imaging equipments such as CT-Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and cardiac catheterization lab unit heralded the launching of Specialty level service in the hospital, the later being the only of its kind in public facilities in the country.



Professor Tony Magana grew up in McAllen, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University and received honors, Summa Cum Laude, in undergraduate work in Zoologry before attending Harvard Medical School where he had a concentration in neuroscience as well as medicine. His neurosurgical training was at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He has lectured and performed surgery in many countries apart from the United States including South Korea, Columbia, Sweden, Germany, Mexico, Turkey and most recently at the King Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates before coming to Ethiopia.


Professor Tony Magana came to develop neurosurgery and neuroscience at Mekelle University College of Health Sciences Medical School in Tigray in 2015 after 3 years spent in Addis Ababa at Bethel Hospital and in Dessie at Wollo University. At Ayder Hospital he subsequently began teaching medical students as well as starting a neurosurgery residency program and neurobiology PhD program in cooperation with the Institute of Biological Sciences. He was the co-chair of the multidisciplinary research team which studied the occurrence of neural tube defects(NTD) and its associated causative factors resulting in publication in major impact journals. He advised with Tigray government and health authorities to improve the health care system in Ethiopia. Serving on the Research Reform committee of Mekelle University he was involved in improving the research mechanisms and establishment at the University. He traveled extensively in Tigray visiting research sites and meeting local health care providers to discuss prevention and treatment of NTDs. He coordinated meetings with an NGO Reach Another, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to address the problems of NTDS. The plan of action was abandoned with the start of the Ethiopian Tigray conflict. He was living and working in Mekelle when the conflict with Ethiopia began in November 2020 and remained there until late December 2020. He was a witness to the assault on Mekelle and involved in medical care of both combatants and innocents brought to Ayder Hospital.



He is a member of the Surgical Society of Ethiopia, a Fellow of the College of Surgeons for South, East, and Central Africa, Ethiopian Society of Neurological Surgery Professionals under the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. 


For the past twenty years in addition to being a neurosurgeon Professor Tony Magana has pursued biblical and theological study through the Episcopal Church. His Christian formation strengthens his role as a physician, teacher, and role model. 


Consultant to Industry

As a neuroscientist who studies how the brain works Professor Tony Magana is interested in the science of understanding how language works and how it is applied in business communication. We know that the brain in a sense creates language to encourage the development of mutually beneficial relationships to faciliate survival and thriving well. This is relevant in developing effective communication skills used in verbal interactions in the business community. Working with EMG PLC and the Kuhne Foundation Professor Tony Magana has been developing and started an education and training program in English verbal communication skills. There is a growing linkage between how understanding how the brain works and language. Professor Tony Magana also serves as a consultant in healthcare and medical related industry development.


 Interaction between governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and business interests from around the globe is on the rise. To create a successful, timely, and efficient pathway to meet a clients goals requires and in depth knowledge of the culture and way of doing things as well as a history of positive experience of accomplishment. A bridge has to be developed with clear, concise, cogent two-way communication which securely connects the client to the business, regulatory, or customer stakeholders. We are about connecting people to people and developing mutually beneficial long term relationships.


Theological Pursuits

Professor Tony Magana is an active participant in Episcopal Church. He is pursuing ongoing study in Christian theology relating to Anglican formation and theory as well as universal Christian belief. He studied at the Southeastern Florida Episcopal Center for Diocesan Studies and the University of the South program Education for Ministry. He frequently writes about theological reflections in his blog.

Print | Sitemap
© Professor Tony Magana - IONOS MyWebsite Professor Tony Magana has a blog for medical professionals and patients Professor Tony Magana Neurosurgery Blog