Ethiopia: A hospital for emergencies

by Sebastian Zausch,  2020/07/16

Mahad is 15 years old. Together with his family the young nomad lives in the Dollo Ado region, Ethiopia, in the Kenyan-Somali border area. His family owns a small herd of goats and moves from one pasture to the next. Several weeks ago, Mahad´s tigh run sore. The treatment with traditional drugs did not help, so he and his father went to a hospital together. It took them six hours – on foot, with an aching open wound.

Mahad and his father in front of the hospital. Photo: humedica

For us, this would be unthinkable – for people, who live in this remote region, this is everyday life. Half a million people live in and around the small town Dollo. The landscape is extensive and dominated by heat, sand, stones and cacti. About 30 per cent of the population consists of refugees, many of them have fled from the violence and terror in the neighbouring Somalia. Since many years they live in one of the huge refugee camps.

People gladly visit the health care stations in the refugee camps Melkadida and Kobe run by humedica for the usual medical examinations. In cooperation with the UNHCR and the Ethiopian refugee agency ARRA humedica takes care of the basic health care of the people in the camps. But what to do, if someone is seriously ill? Within a day´s walking radius there is only one hospital, which is capable to treat severe diseases and to perform operations. But this clinic is in the worst of conditions. Since another humanitarian organization backed out last year, the hospital is hardly in a position to meet these challenges. It does not only lack money, but qualified personnel and urgently needed medical equipment as well.

The operating theatre must be rendered operational again. Photo: humedica

humedica has decided to support the clinic in Dollo and to bring it back to long term working order. The operation theatre must be renovated and equipped to restore a safe operating state. For this, also a laboratory is needed to carry out blood tests as well as a blood bank and a pharmacy, which provides medicaments for the patients. An ambulance would be able treat emergencies on site locally.

Gender-based violence is widespread in the region. In order to help mothers and their children to come to terms with their experiences, we would like to hire a psychologist. The children´s clinic should also be able to treat the physical illnesses of the small ones.

For pregnant women, too, the hospital should once again become a safe point of contact. At the moment most childbirths take place in the huts of the people without any medical assistance. In case of complications the chances for mother and child are bad – a situation, we would like to change.

Infant mortality in the Dollo-Ado region is widespread. We aim to change this by supporting the clinic. Photo: humedica

Since nearly ten days now Mahad is treated at the Dollo clinic with antibiotics and wound dressings. The infection is slowly healing, but Mahad is still walking with a limp. As his father and he were not able to work for the last ten days, they have no income. Unlike in Germany, in Ethiopia patients and their family members have to fend for themselves. Many people are not able to do this, they therefore avoid to go to the hospital at all even when they are severely ill.

Mahad, too, did hesitate for a long while before visiting the clinic. If he had come earlier, the treatment of his infection would have been easier and less painful.

Therefore, humedica wants to keep the hurdles for an adequate medical treatment as low as possible. Who is not able to pay, will be treated for free. Furthermore, we would like to provide food for in-patients.

Please help us to take action!

Improve the medical care in the Dollo Ado region with your donation. Thank you so much.

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