Local Hospital Programme

Local Hospital Programme

In the Somali region of Ethiopia, 91% of the population live in rural communities on subsistence incomes and more than half of residents of very rural regions are in the lowest national wealth quantile (Ethiopia Atlas of Key Demographic and Health indicators, 2005). With only one doctor for every 70,000 people in these areas and around 50 dentists in the whole country, the vast majority of farming families are excluded from professional healthcare.Although treatment for facial disabilities and injuries is now available in the capital, Addis Ababa, the communities we work with cannot access it. Fewer than one in 400 families in Somali region have access to a motor vehicle and the cost  of a parent and child travelling for treatment in the capital is equivalent to a coffee farmer’s entire annual household income. Free cleft treatment is currently not available in local hospitals in the Somali Region. 

We are, therefore, delighted to have started supporting children and young people affected by the cleft lip and palate conditions to access treatment in the Somali region of Ethiopia. The three-year project, largely funded by the UK Department for International Development will build the capacity of local health workers to identify and refer patients and will bring health services closer to the beneficiaries by building the capacity of local hospitals to provide treatment and follow-up. As a result of the project, we now have an office in Jijiga. 

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