Married couple from Kassel supports famine relief in Ethiopia

by Steffen Richter,  2012/05/03

Preparations are in full swing, every day they take leave of friends and family. As soon as paediatrician Dr. Deborah Adelsberger (33) and her husband Thomas (33) will leave Kassel in only a few days time, a new life will begin for the two of them in a country they have so far only known from the news. The Adelsbergers will work at a refugee camp at the Ethiopian-Somali border for humedica for a minimum period of six months.

We are incredibly excited and looking forward to this task that will change our life substantially”, says Thomas Adelsberger in an interview with a radiating smile. While his wife will primarily work as a doctor in the medical field, the former head of production of the company Pro Dokument GmbH will take over the position of a coordinator and will be in charge of organisational and administrative tasks.

The young couple will travel to the Melkadida refugee camp, which is located in the south of Ethiopia, immediately at the border to Somalia. humedica runs two health stations at this camp which offers emergency accommodation to about 40,000 persons. For the relief organisation the mission at the Horn of Africa started as early as last summer. Back then, about eleven millions of people had been affected by the famine disaster, among them three millions of children.

All luggage is finished: in a few days time, Deborah and Thomas Adelsberger will travel to the Ethiopian-Somali border, in order to support the work of humedica in the country. Photo: private

In the framework of a first relief shipment from Germany, humedica transported about 30 tons of food and other urgently needed goods to Kenya on a cargo flight. At the same time, a doctor team offered medical aid in the north of Ethiopia and in the course of the project medical aid has been extended also to the Somali border in the south. Up to this day, humedica has been running sustainable projects in Kenya, Djibouti and above all in Ethiopia.

Unfortunately, the situation for the ten thousands of refugees has improved only insignificantly", tells Deborah Adelsberger. “In face of the current situation they can hardly consider returning to their home villages. That makes the medical mission of humedica at Melkadida, which we will support soon, all the more important”.

Apart from various treatment rooms, a small laboratory and an in-patient ward, the health station at Melkadida also disposes of a pharmacy and a mother-child-ward. The latter will be the place where the paediatrician will spend most of her working time.

It is true that the people living at the camp no longer have to worry about a lack of food, as they are well provided for. However, overall living conditions at the camps are hard above all on elderly persons and children”, explains Deborah Adelsberger. And the refugee camps are not the only focus of the relief measures: also the inhabitants of the region are supplied with medical care and medications.

Apart from basic medical treatment, the mission team members always need to be prepared for the possible outbreak of an epidemic, like e.g. the measles. “Basically, our doctors encounter respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases, fevers and severe skin infections on a daily basis and above all in children. Unfortunately, this is quite normal given the hygienic conditions prevailing at the camp”, adds Raphael Marcus, the employee in charge of the project at the humedica headquarters.

But what is the motivation for a young couple to give up their safe, comfortable life in Germany in order to offer support to foreigners under such challenging conditions? “We are very well-off here and we were lucky to experience a lot of happiness and blessings in our life”, says Thomas Adelsberger. “Now we would like to give something back. Being Christians, we are furthermore convinced that this is the very place where God wants us to be: a place where we can offer help to people in misery.”

The members of their Christian community have already taken leave of the couple, and many more leave-takings will follow suit. “Of course it is not easy”, admits Deborah Adelsberger. “But our families support us, think of us and pray for us”.

Please continue to support our relief measures at the Horn of Africa by means of your donation also in future. Thank you very much.

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Famine relief Africa
      Account 47 47
      Bank code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren
      SWIFT/BIC-CODE: BYLADEM1KFB
      IBAN: DE35734500000000004747

You can also achieve great results by means of sending a short text message: simply send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. Your mobile bill will be charged with 5 euros, and 4.83 euros of this amount will be channelled directly into the humedica project work.

Broad-scale targeted relief aid for thousands of refugees: humedica has assumed commitment in the framework of various projects at the Ethiopian-Somali border. Photo: humedica/Sven Ramones

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