"Since we are here, significantly less children die"

Health care station helps the traditional Kara tribe in Ethiopia

by Sebastian Zausch,  2019/04/12

Since several years humedica takes care of the health care of traditional tribes in South Ethiopia such as the Kara. Photo: humedica

A shovel, a spare tyre and enough to eat and drink. These items are a must for everybody, who sets out to Dus. Dus is a small remote village in the South West of Ethiopia, not far from the borders to South Sudan and Kenia. Here humedica runs a health care station for the Kara, one of the many traditional tribes living at the banks of the Omo river. Who arrives here, takes on a journey back to a time approximately 200 years ago. There is no electricity, no running water and the Kara does not own cars. They mainly roam in the vicinity of their village, their fields and the Omo river, where the women and children get the water. They live from what their fields provide and from goat breeding. If they have to leave their surroundings, for example to go to the next hospital in Turmi about 60 kilometers away, this travel takes up a whole day walking by foot.

The same journey by car also takes up half of a day. You are not able to travel fast. Not everywhere a sand road is available. Once and again small runlets extend to mature rivers in the rainy season, which happen to sweep away entire cars and their passengers in their path. In these times the Kara are cut off from the outside world as roads are no longer passable. Whoever travels in such times, is well advised to carry a shovel, a spare tyre and food with him.

For several years now humedica runs a health care station in this Ethiopian backland. It ensures that the Kara do not have to take on the long way to Turmi if they are ill or pregnant. Or that they go to traditional witch doctors instead, which are still quite popular with the locals. "Since we are on site, significantly less children die than before our arrival." says Trudy Ritter, co-initiator of the project and longstanding coordinator in Dus. Thanks to the health care station people now have a contact point nearby. The humedica team also trains the Kara and the Ethiopian health care personnel in fields like hygiene or primary health care. Regularly also voluntary practitioner teams from Germany carry out trainings on site. In so-called "Outreaches" the medical teams visit by car the people in the remote villages and on the fields.

Please see the video to learn more about how the Kara live and how our humedica clinic works on site:

humedica teams also visit such "huts" located on the bank of the river Omo to treats their patients. Photo: humedica

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