Ethiopia: Medical Team Helps in Different Areas of Country – Part 2

by Steffen Richter, 2007/12/21

Finincha, continued

„We decided, along with the medical care, to give training to the villagers. For this purpose, members from the local congregations helped select women from the surrounding area to take part in a 3-day course about medical basics, hygiene and prevention. The interest was so big that although we had planned on 20 women, 52 came. Result from the first day: “We knew it was important to wash. We thought, ‘we wash ourselves so that we look good’. Today we learned that we wash ourselves so that we remain healthy!” In the three days themes such as hygiene, spreading of diseases, parasites and vermin, Malaria, pregnancy and birth, nutrition and damaging traditional practices were introduced. The entire medical team taught in English, and everything was translated into Amharische and Sidamo.

The women were eager to learn and asked many questions. We also took a lot of pleasure in the fervent singing at the beginning of each day’s classes. Everyone wants to come back and learn more, so we will be planning more missions in this area. This will give us the ability to expand on the training we started, and be able to respond to their questions and needs. It was also nice that Matthias Franke not only supported us with his photographic talent, but also, with the help of Pastor Samuel, gave an introductory bible study every morning before the classes with the women on fundamental ideas such as the worth of women and children. On the last day we held a dinner for the families of the schoolchildren and the women from the classes. 400 people came. Matthias taught about fatherhood, an important topic in Ethiopia, and I was better able to explain about our work.

Many patients suffer from parasites, malaria, breathing infections and gastro-intestinal problems. We brought several children with malnutrition to a therapeutic nutrition clinic run by Missionaries of Charity nuns. In a few cases we even needed to take patients to the hospital. For these special instances, we rely on donations to humedica in order to cover the costs. The school director will be keeping us informed on the progress of the patients.

Little Genet is five and had a serious infection. His stomach hurt and was swollen. The same day we saw him we took him to Awasa. A three-year-old girl we attended had a high fever and couldn’t keep her medicine for Malaria down. Her temperature rose above 41°C (105.8°F) and only because of the quick transport to the hospital, where she was treated intravenously, could her life be saved."

In a few days we will bring you the third and final part of the feature from Susanne Merkel. We look forward to having you visit us again.

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