Focal Area

Health

Health

"Progress is the best medicine. It protects our health."

Healthcare in rural Ethiopia is often provided by simple health posts rather than doctors. Especially in the remote villages these health posts are usually equipped with the bare minimum. We build clean and stable health centres or provide already existing ones with medical equipment or staff training.

Help us to improve the healthcare provided to families in Ethiopia.

A good quality level of medical care changes lives. And those living in our project areas will tell you about the extent that this is the case!

When there is no medical help available in the vicinity, any illness can become a serious threat. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are the groups most at risk due to the lack of adequate health facilities in rural Ethiopia.

Many diseases can be easily prevented by simple hygiene measures or the provision of access to clean drinking water. These include acute infections causing diarrhoea that can prove fatal in young children and babies, as well as the bacterial eye infection trachoma, which can result in blindness if it remains untreated.

In addition to building health centres, it is imperative to provide medical personnel with specialist training and educate the population about family planning, infectious diseases and hygiene measures.

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Health – our primary asset

Health impacts on almost all areas of life and is dependent on many factors. Only those who are healthy can actively participate in social life and also provide an economic basis. That's why we take action in many areas to improve the health of people - from young children to the elderly.

Health – our primary asset

Health impacts on almost all areas of life and is dependent on many factors. Only those who are healthy can actively participate in social life and also provide an economic basis. That's why we take action in many areas to improve the health of people - from young children to the elderly.

What we do:

Our activities in our focal area of health are as follows:

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Provision of hygiene and health courses and related campaigns in schools
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Introduction of pit latrines and other hygiene-related measures
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Construction and equipping of hospitals, health stations and polyclinics
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Equipment of health stations with solar powered refrigerators
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Provision of ambulance vehicles
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Provision of eye treatments and surgeries (cataracts and trichiasis), campaign to end trachoma
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Treatment for parasite infections (deworming)
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Support for the implementation of vaccination programmes
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Education in HIV/AIDS prevention, tests and advice
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Training courses on family planning and distribution of contraceptives
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Emergency COVID-19 help

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Knowledge can be infectious

Only those who have access to information can actively protect themselves and their health. Therefore, awareness raising and knowledge transfer are particularly important to improve people's health in the long term. Education in important aspects is provided by our colleagues in Ethiopia in a range of situations – they use, for example, food preparation trainings, organised school clubs and home economic classes as opportunities to provide the relevant information. Such as how hygiene can be improved by the use of clean drinking water and sanitary latrines, how diseases can be prevented or the relevance of family planning. The participants then take these new insights with them back home, where they pass them on to their families and neighbours.
Schwangerschaftsultraschalluntersuchung

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Support for doctors and health workers

Continuing education courses for medical personnel help save lives! We provide training courses for doctors, nursing staff, health consultants and midwives to ensure that they know what to do in emergencies. In order to improve the level of healthcare throughout Ethiopia, we also provide support to the state vaccination services in the form of transport and contribute courses and specialists to facilitate family planning measures. Menschen für Menschen has trained personnel or employs ophthalmologists to carry out eyesight-saving surgery.

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Health facilities for the people

The lack of extensive basic healthcare provision is particularly acute in rural Ethiopia. On average, there is just one doctor per 10,000 of the population. When people fall sick, they have no alternative but to travel long journeys on foot to the nearest clinic if they want treatment. This means that pregnant women, elderly and seriously ill persons have no ready access to professional help. To ensure that medical care is also available in remote regions, we build and renovate health centres and equip these with medical equipment and materials. The services these offer include examinations and advice on health and family planning.

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Blindness prevention campaign

The bacterial eye infection known as trachoma can be transmitted by means of contact with discharge from an infected person or even infected flies. In the early stages, it can be readily treated using antibiotics, but if not diagnosed soon enough, the chronic infection can cause the patient to lose their sight; the eyelids turn inwards so that the lashes begin to scratch the cornea. The blindness that results from this painful condition can only be prevented by surgery that is undertaken on the spot by our health professionals.

Other aspects of our work in our focal areas of water and health are designed to contribute significantly to the long term combating of trachoma. We have launched a campaign in our project areas Abune Ginde Beret and Ginde Beret that over a period of five years has supplied an average of 200,000 people annually with anti-inflammatory medications.

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Harmful practices

It is notable that in rural regions of Ethiopia outdated traditional practices persist that can damage health – particularly that of women – and even undermine the life situation of people over the long term. Some of these practices, such as female genital mutilation, are officially banned but it will still take many years until these ingrained customs finally disappear.

To achieve sustainable changes in attitudes it is essential to communicate with people, to inform but not to rebuke. To this end, we regularly employ the help of local religious leaders. In collaboration with local health authorities, we also disseminate information on the harmful nature of other established practices, such as child marriage, the tradition of tattooing and much else besides.
Mutter und Kind essen

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All areas of life influence health

Our health is influenced by a multitude of factors that are not directly related to the availability of medical care. A reliable income and vitamin-rich nutrition have positive impacts on human health. This means that measures designed to improve income and sustainable land management can contribute to better health over the long term among the population in general. Access to clean water and to information on better hygiene measures are decisive when it comes to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy a long and healthy life.

What we've already achieved:

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68,426 eyesight-saving surgeries

To date, Menschen für Menschen has been responsible for 68,426 eyesight-saving surgeries that have significantly improved the quality of life of the patients.

Our large scale campaign to eliminate trachoma has resulted in a drastic reduction of the percentage of children under the age of 10 years affected by trachoma – it has fallen from 62% to 6.2% in Ginde Beret and from 50% to 3.2% in Abune Ginde Beret.

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103 health centres

103 health centres have been constructed that provide access to healthcare even for those living in remote villages.

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10,454 participants in awareness-raising courses on reproductive health

10,454 persons have participated in information courses on reproductive health while more than 931,691 women have been issued with contraceptives (excluding condoms).