Our volunteers also have “a heart for children”– like the gynaecologist Sonja Küster, in the picture with a local colleague. Photo: humedica
Varied aid programmes thanks to the support of BILD hilft e. V. – “Ein Herz für Kinder“
Large aid projects normally consist of many little parts that together make up a whole. The main focus of the humedica aid project in the refugee camp of Melkadida is on the provision of medical aid by our medical volunteers.
In addition to that, however, humedica also supports the work of partner organisations in the five huge refugee camps in the south of Ethiopia in manifold ways. This is made possible through the generous support of major donors like, for instance, the foundation BILD hilft e. V. – „Ein Herz für Kinder“ [BILD helps Association – “A heart for children”].
Thanks to the financial means entrusted to us by Bild hilft e.V. – “Ein Herz für Kinder” for our aid project in Ethiopia in 2012, we were able to expand the quality of treatment for our patients, especially for pregnant women, in the health posts of the refugee camps, and to expand the range of possible treatments. The following points will give you an insight into what became possible through the support mentioned above:
Baby care supplies for newborn babies and infants are a scarce good in every refugee camp. After the first two distributions of so-called “baby kits” for women in Melkadida with babies under three months, humedica has continued to deliver these sets containing baby oil, baby soap and washable nappies to the state-run health post of Melkadida up to this day. Each woman from the refugee camp who gives birth to her child in the maternity ward of the health post, receives one of these sets.
Many children from refugee families are given birth in a traditional way, at home. Yet from a medical point of view, a lack of hygiene and standards during these home births pose a danger to mothers and children. Therefore, the baby kits also provide an incentive to the mothers to deliver their children at the health post.
In the meantime, this idea has been taken up in the other camps as well. Some months ago, humedica already delivered the first packs of 140 baby kits to the other four camps. A further delivery of 150 kits for the two months to come will follow soon. The health post in Melkadida already received more than 600 baby kits in the past six months and handed them out to mothers.
In addition, humedica provides the maternity ward of the state-run health-post with iron and multi vitamin preparations. As a part of preventive medical care, these preparations are given to mothers who have a higher need of iron and vitamins during pregnancy.
Waiting areas for patients
Where, until not long ago, patients had to wait for treatment in the blazing sun of the Ethiopian desert or in the few shady spots of the premises of the state-run health post of Melkadida, humedica recently completed two new waiting areas.
In ten days only, humedica set up two corrugated iron huts that offer patients shade as well as protection against wind and sandstorms while they are waiting for treatment outside.
HIV test kits
In order to assess whether a patient is infected with HIV, every health post in a refugee camp is normally equipped with HIV test kits. This examination is important especially with regard to the medication of sick and pregnant patients, as well as for patients who would like to know whether they have contracted the virus.
Especially for pregnant women, the knowledge of their HIV status can be crucial. Therefore, in the health posts of the refugee camp, every pregnant woman is routinely tested for HIV. In the case of an infection with HIV, the baby can be given pre- and postnatal antiretroviral medication and the newborn baby can thus be protected from infection with the virus.
After a shortage of these important rapid tests, humedica has provided the health posts in the five refugee camps with the necessary HIV test kits for several weeks already. Altogether, 2.000 tests have been delivered to the five camps so far.