Ethiopia – The Ethiopia you do not expect alongside mothers and children

04 August 2017

(ANS - Abobo) - We are in West Ethiopia, an area where temperatures reach up to 50 degrees during the warmer months. Forty-five km from Gambella, the most important town, is the village of Abobo. A beautiful story begins here in 2002 when a group of Italian and Spanish volunteers set up a small health center together with the local Salesians. Today, after fifteen years, the Abobo Health Center is the symbol of a community that is not only at the service of the 4,000 villagers, but serves the approximately 20,000 people living in the area, and the 200,000 people in the entire region.

The soul of the Health Center are Tere and Maria, two Spanish-speaking physicians who represent a major reference point for a population affected by malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and various types of infections. Thanks to the presence of these two female doctors, this center has a definitively female soul and a vocation that addresses everyone, but especially to that part of the population most at risk: mothers and their children.

Tere and Maria offer help to other women. Every day, in their small center, they are engaged in preventing and treating endemic diseases and, especially, trying to help mothers and their children. Their small but significant daily actions: vaccinations to mothers during pregnancy, prevention of diseases such as anemia, hypertension, malaria, and various infections that also cause serious consequences to the newborn child, not to mention the important activities of early diagnosis, regular screening and simple examinations that they offer for free. They follow moms with their little ones through various pre- and post-natal programs, support them with medication during pregnancy and provide maternity care, safe delivery, and they guarantee ambulance transportation to Gambella for women who require more difficult operations and care.

To give an idea of what this all means: they do an average of forty maternal vaccinations per week and thirty births per month. Tomorrow, they do not know if the Health Center will receive economic support to stay open, continue operating. The only certain thing is that tomorrow, like every day, mothers will be arriving with their babies for vaccinations, a woman in labor will show up, and a baby will need urgent medical care.

The Don Bosco Mission of Turin supports this health program.
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ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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