Supporting A Program of Prevention and Primary Health Care Promotion in Shire - Ethiopia

Project location: ETHIOPIA, Shire
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: October 2012
Project number: 2012-047
Beneficiary: MAGIS Foundation



 From September to November 2012

 The project aims at improving health Service in the area of Shire Endaselassie, with particular attention to AIDS patients and to the poorest.

The Specific Objectives are:

1. to extend population access to primary health services, strengthening number and quality of services, in particular nutrition, care and support of AIDS patients, and implementing preventive activities;

2. to offer support to children orphans of AIDS patients or whose mothers are AIDS patients;

3. to offer health education sessions to a large number of people in order to promote a healthier life-style both at family and at community level.

1. Organization of medical examinations, analyses (including AIDS screening test) and treatment of patients; regular standardized follow up of patients.

The St. Augustine Clinic is open to all, with particular attention to children, whose presence is growing fast. It receives on average 75 patients every day.

About 60 analyses and screening tests are carried out every day.

If needed, most patients, after the first medical examination, are recommended to take screening tests. Then, after the medical report, they receive the prescription and get the therapy from the Clinic Pharmacy.

A regular follow-up is carried out by the Clinic nurses.

The most common diseases diagnosed are: malaria (vivax and falciparum), gastroenteritis, tiphus, breathing apparatus diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, pharyngitis, ear infections, conjunctivitis, trachoma, flu and many kinds of skin diseases. There are also many tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS cases.

Primary health care represents the core activity of the St. Augustine Clinic. There is a urgent demand for health and social assistance in the area of Shire Endaselassie. The population who turns to the Clinic is growing in the course of time, due to its improved capacity of responding to local population needs by offering good quality health assistance, by paying constant attention to human and social condition of assisted and their families, by privileging the most vulnerable.

For these reasons, a huge effort has been made to reach the largest possible number of patients and to increase the quality of health and social care.

The Clinic takes records of single patient's medical history, diseases and care across time and sends, at the end of each month, a report with the description of pathologies diagnosed and treated to the Ethiopian authorities.

The staff is clinically and professionally competent. Once a month a staff meeting takes place at the Clinic with the aim of analysing and evaluating the activities carried out and the problems occurred.

2. Care, feeding programme, growth monitoring of undernourished children.

Malnutrition remains the primary cause of morbidity and mortality for the most vulnerable people, especially children under five.

In order to reach the largest possible number of malnourished children, the St. Augustine Clinic integrates malnutrition screening and treatment services into its primary health care activities.

The Clinic receives once a week, every Wednesday, a great number of undernourished children. Malnutrition is assessed through body measurements, by weighing the child and measuring his or her height, by measuring the circumference of the mid-upper arm, by checking for oedema in the lower legs or feet. Then the children receive therapies and a special meal said FAFA(for one week), a sweetly-flavoured porridge recently developed in Ethiopia, designed to integrate and retrieve. Furthermore milk and biscuits are distributed to orphans and children with particular problems.

The Clinic is currently monitoring 98 children.

3. Counselling of mothers and orphans in difficulty and financial support for the poorest and to AIDS patients and their families.

The Clinic runs a Counselling Programme for vulnerable people, whose objective is to help those who are at risk by reason of their social, economic and health condition.

Within the first contact the staff maps together with the assisted his or her needs and discusses possible solutions. Then the assisted receives information and support according to his/her individual needs and the resources of Clinic. Counselling is provided mainly in individual form.

Together with Counselling, financial support is provided for the most vulnerable groups.

The families of orphaned children, people affected by acute diseases and vulnerable people (unmarried mothers, old people, people affected by chronic diseases, blind people, people with handicap) received financial support during the months of September, October and November. The contribution has been given according to the criteria specified in the attached declaration.

The same families received in September a support for children school expenses: uniforms, shoes, bags, clothes and stationery. The contribution has been given according to the criteria specified in the attached declaration.

4. Health education.

Health education sessions are held every morning at the Clinic.

A nurse teaches a short lesson to the patients waiting in the waiting room on health education issues - hygiene, infectious diseases, in particular HIV infection, nutrition, mother and child care, infections screening and prevention, vaccinations, importance of toilet facilities etc. - and answers their questions.

Furthermore, health education continues with single patients during medical examination, when they ask for explanations, advices and suggestion.

 - Results obtained (preliminary)

Increase of patients accessing the dispensary for medical care;
improvement of Clinic capacity to meet patients' needs;
increase of children monitored with medical/nutritional care and decrease of cases of undernourishment;
improvement of maternal healthcare in the area;
increase of population awareness on hygienic - health and nutritional matters;
increased access of HIV positive patients to screening and care;
general improvement of living conditions for HIV positive patients;
improved prevention of transmission of infectious diseases.

The project activities are currently being carried out as foreseen. Medical care activities will be privileged, in order to respond to the urgent healthcare need of local population, with a particular attention to most vulnerable groups. The expected results are being achieved without obstacles, thanks to the competence of the Clinic staff and the experience and total commitment of the Sisters of Charity, who run the clinic since a long time. The activity carried out by the Clinic is very important in the local context. It is expected that the benefits obtained by the assisted will be increased and multiplied.

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