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Friday, September 7, 2012

Ethiopia: A boost in the uphill battle of providing health care to the poor

Recently, Aklilu Mulat, HOPE International Development Agency’s Acting Executive Director, visited Ethiopia, the country of his birth, where he witnessed the delivery of a large shipment of medical supplies that we had arranged for a rural hospital to receive.

This is something we do all over the world: help struggling hospitals and clinics that serve the poorest of the poor to be better stocked and equipped.

We secure high quality medications and medical equipment (not expired pills and broken or useless tools!), and ship large quantities of them to health centers that can put them to good use.

Aklilu’s observations highlight the deprivation and struggle that these health centers experience on a day to day basis. The Hosana Hospital is typical of the institutions across the world that we are trying to help.

Aklilu writes...

The tour of Hosana Hospital was overwhelming. Supplies were in serious lack, which meant that services could not be delivered at the level necessary to ensure proper treatment of patients. It also meant that the hospital itself was unsanitary. The delivery room and the room in which they carried out some surgery, for example, were not clean, let alone sterile. Dr. Ayano (the medical director of the hospital) attributes this to lack of consistent supply of water, lack of cleaning and sterilizing supplies, and failure of some of their equipment.

There were very few pieces of equipment that actually worked.  Most concerning was that the sterilizing equipment did not work at all.

Overall, the hospital and regional officials expressed deep gratitude to HOPE International Development Agency as the medical supplies will enable the hospital - which has a service area of nearly 1 million people - to provide better care to patients. “Items like gauze, scissors, gloves, and syringes may seem ordinary,” said Dr. Avano, “but they save lives.”

It is encouraging to see the shipment of medical supplies received by the good people at Hosana Hospital, knowing that it will help the doctors and nurses - not to mention the patients - in their need. Because their need is beyond acute.

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