Inauguration of a second health station at Melkadida

by Simone Winneg/SHU,  2011/11/08

For almost two years Dollo Ado has been a place of refuge for Somali refugees. War, uncertainty, drought and the loss of their livelihood forced the Somalis to leave their home country and to take refuge here in Ethiopia. In the meantime, there are more than 130,000 Somalis in the region surrounding Dollo Ado, who live at emergency accommodations and under dismal conditions.

Coordinator Simone Winneg at a briefing at Melkadida. Photo: humedica/Sureka Dharuman

Melkadida is the largest of the four refugee camps in the region. With more than 40,000 inhabitants and almost 180 hectares, it is almost as large as a medium-sized town. Since August, humedica doctor teams have been working at full speed in order to offer medical treatment to the refugees.

Up to now, they had been active in close cooperation with government employees at the health station of ARRA. But is one health station enough for 40,000 persons, in particular if it is located just at one end of the camp?

Above all for mothers with several children the trip to the Health Center is often too long and too cumbersome. They prefer staying at home with their ill children and hope that they will recover soon. Only in the case of serious illnesses – if the child suffers from an extremely high fever or if the disease has progressed dangerously – do they set out on the long trip.

After almost two years, this situation has finally improved. humedica could open a second health station at the refugee camp. For two weeks, our doctors and nurses have been treating up to 60 to 80 patients at the opposite end of the camp.

Children suffering from high fever or respiratory diseases, and many who suffer from diarrhoea and fungal diseases are taken to us in order to be treated. Thus, we treat many patients with acute complaints, among them children suffering from fever of over 40 degrees, severely dehydrated children or children with fresh injuries.

humedica doctor Gabriel Labitzke examines a blind girl who suffers from a skin disease. Photo: humedica/Sureka Dharuman

However, our doctors also often have to deal with “older” injuries. Farhiya, two years old, fell into the cooking fire more than one week ago and sustained severe burns. Her mother wanted to treat the burns using traditional healing methods, but unfortunately, the wound became infected.

Farhiya came to see us on one of the first days after the inauguration. Her mother has five more children. The trip to the health station was too long for Farhiya’s mother and she had hoped that the injuries would heal well. Only since humedica has been treating patients in the vicinity has she considered asking for medical help.

Now, after ten days and after the wound has been cleaned and the dressing changed continuously, Farhiya’s injuries have mostly healed. Mother and child are very glad about this recovery.

In cooperation with ARRA we intend to expand the aid humedica can offer at Melkadida during the next few weeks and months: the introduction of routine vaccinations for all children at our new health station is intended to improve vaccination coverage. Furthermore, medical care for the refugees is to be improved in the long-term by means of establishing a small maternity ward, as well as a small in-patient ward.

In order to put these essential plans into practice, we will continue to depend on your help, dear friends and sponsors. Please continue to support our activities in the crisis region surrounding Dollo Ado.

Kind regards from Melkadida and God’s blessings

Simone Winneg

humedica e. V.
Donation reference “Famine relief Africa”
Account 47 47
Bank Code 734 500 00
Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can also support us in a fast, secure and simple way by means of sending a text message: send a text message containing the reference DOC to 8 11 90. You will make a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica disaster relief projects.

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