Visiting health and business projects in Ethiopia

We had a wonderful day on Wednesday.

Early morning we went to Dera Woreda, where we could see the Health Extension Program of UNICEF.

We visited Gibtsawit health post. It gave us a sense of what Ethiopia is doing to improve health with support from UNICEF.

We heard about different services (health promotion, community-based nutrition and selected curative and preventative health services) provided at the health post.

Community health worker Misa shows her scale for weighing children

Other specific services include:
– immunization,
– diagnosis and treatment of common childhood illness such as diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition,
– growth monitoring for children under 2,
– community conversation,
– HIV counseling and testing among others.

While we were there, an Ethiopian man arrived and the health extension workers (Misa) took some blood in order to check if the man was infected by malaria or not. Fortunately he was healthy. Anita also wanted Misa to check her blood, but it would have taken approximately 20 minutes and we had not enough time to wait for it.

Otherwise Anita got a special tool for measuring mid-upper arm in order to see if childen and pregnant women are malnourished or not.

Community health worker Misa measures Anita's arm

We saw a labour room here, because if the childbirth is uncomplicated, women can bear their children here.

After that, we went to a primary school and observed a school health program. Here children get information, education about the basic hygenic customs (eg. wash their hands before eating, after using toilet).

A community health worker teaches kids about hygiene

Here we saw the “model farmhouse”, which was built from local materials. There is disinfectant liquid in the playground, they show the children how to cook the meals in order to be healthier.

Judit and Anita with health worker Misa in a model farm house

We went to another school. The classroom had only some equipment, which is not enough. We got information about the fact that UNICEF will impove this school with money from the IKEA Soft Toy campaign. (Now the floor is made of dirt, not concrete; the chairs, desks and roof need repairing.)

Sara in a classroom

In the afternoon we visited some business owners, who could realise their businesses with the help of UNICEF and goverment.

They support those people, who ask for help and whose action plans are appropriate for this project. We saw three businesses. One of them was a coffee shop, where we could taste the world-famous, real Ethiopian coffee.

A woman grinds coffee beans

Here we learned some interesting information:
– wages of a women, who previously worked in construction: 8 Ethiopian Birr per a day (105 HUF = 35 euro cents)
– people need approx 600 Ethiopian Birr per a month for living (7.800 HUF = 26 Euro)
– average salary of teachers: 800 Ethiopian Birr per a month (10.400 HUF = 35 Euro)

When we finished our program, we did not want to go back to the hotel, because we enjoyed this day, so we wanted to continue…

    Sára Szabó