Ellinor Ädelroth is Professor emerita in respiratory medicine at Umeå University and a retired respiratory physician. Her main research interests during her active years were asthma, inflammation , effects of medications on the airways, and also the effects of air pollution on the respiratory system.
She has since childhood held a keen interest in what was then called ”third world countries” and has visited several African countries.
She was head of the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University for a number of years, a department which included Epidemiology and Global Health where she could encourage research in many parts of the world, totally in line with her personal interests.
During this time she was invited to teach the course in Respiratory Medicine at a University Medical School in Bukavu, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and which she did for five consecutive years. After retirement she has spent more than three years working at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu (2012-2015) a a volunteer. The hospital is a regional center in addition to having clinical teaching of medicial and nursing students.
The hospital has gained international renown due to its founder Dr Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist and human rights activist who has been vocal in world about the use of rape of women and girls as a weapons of war in DRC, where there has been ongoing armed conflicts for more than 20 years.
When working at Panzi she not only was a clinician for patients suffering from respiratory disorders, but also did locums as medical director when Dr. Mukwege was absent. During one of her stays in Bukavu she served as project manager for the special unit at the hospital treating women and girls, survivors of sexual violence, and gained experience in a new field of medicine. She has gone back several times since 2015 for shorter periods of time for work at Panzi.