Our links with a surgery in Ethiopia
The Beginning of the Pioneer Medical Group/Addis Alem Link by Dr Susan Thomas (retired Bradgate Doctor) In November 2004 I visited Addis Alem with Tigist Grieve, founder of the For-Ethiopia Charity. Although a relatively short distance from the capital,Addis Ababa, 60km,it was a long and uncomfortable trip. The tarmac road was poor (under construction) but to the villages, there was not even that – we went cross country in a 4x4 but the remoter villages you can access only on foot or donkey. At a distance the clinic looked a smart enough building, amongst the village huts (in the days of the socialist leader, Mengistu, who overthrew the Emperor Haile Saillase, a system of rural clinics were set up) but the facilities did not bear close inspection. The fluorescent lights had no electricity supply, the stainless steel sink had taps – but no running water, posters were hand written (though accurate) and the cupboards were virtually empty of equipment or drugs. A little girl arrived, limping. She looked about 7 but was probably neared 11 or 12. She had a nasty dog bite on the inside of her thigh. She had limped for 2 hours to get to the clinic with her mother, and she would walk the 2 hours home. At the clinic, her wound was cleaned and dressed, and she was given an antibiotic injection. This she did on a daily basis. The nurse took a break to tell me about her work ( Most educated Ethiopians speak good reasonably) English. “Tell me about your work,” I asked “About how many people do you look after?” “7000” she replied. This at once engaged my attention, as we had around 7,000 patients on our list at Bradgate at the time. “And please tell me about your team” I asked her. She looked at me blankly. “Who works with you?” “The midwife comes, when needed” she said and that was it. At Bradgate we had 9 doctors,6 nurses, 8 receptionists, a practice manager with a pa, 2 secretaries, an IT manager with 3 admin assistants, and 3 visiting counselors that is before we mention the midwives, district nurses, health visitors,chiropedists,opticians,dentists etc to whom our patients have access. Need I say more? I came back to Bristol, and at the end of a practice meeting I asked if I could have 5 minutes. I told my colleagues what I have just told you, and suggested that they might like to help. They did and that is how Bradgate became linked to Addis Alem http://www.for-ethiopia.com/
Last updated on 26 April 2017.
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