Paediatric Clinic ” Let Children have health in Meki”
Meki es una pequeña localidad situada a 130 Kilómetros al sur de Addis Abeba, la capital de Etiopía. Situado en el llamado Cuerno de África, Etiopía es el segundo país más poblado del continente africano. Está catalogado por el Comité de Ayuda al Desarrollo (CAD) como País Menos Adelantado (PMA), y ocupa uno de los últimos lugares en el Índice de Desarrollo Humano.
La Fundación Pablo Horstmann llegó a Meki en 2011 para hacerse cargo del orfanato “Let Children Have Home”. Cuidando y atendiendo a los niños de la zona nos dimos cuenta de que, cuando se ponían enfermos, no había pediatras ni servicios de salud y sí una elevada morbimortalidad infantil. Entonces decidimos abrir una Clínica Pediátrica que pudiera atender no solo a los niños del orfanato, sino a toda la población infantil y juvenil de este área donde, hasta nuestra llegada, no había un solo médico, siendo la tasa de mortalidad infantil en menores de 5 años del 17,9%.
Meki is a little village located 130 km away from Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia. Placed in the so called horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the second most populated country in the African continent. Ethiopia is listed by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) as the least advanced country and its one of the last places of the index of human development.
The Pablo Horstmann foundation arrived in Meki in 2011 to take charge of the orphanage “Let children have home”. With our daily work attending children and looking after them, we realized that when the children got ill they had no health service and no paediatricians to look after them, therefore the decease rate of morbidity and mortality was very high. We decided to open a paediatric Clinic attending not only the children’s of the orphanage but as well the children and youngsters of the area. Before our arrival the mortality rate under five years was 17.9%.
Since our clinic exists we have passed from only offering external consultation assistance to become a reference centre in the area.
In July 2016 we inaugurated a new wing of paediatric income patients, which now has two admission wards, an observation ward, an emergency triage ward, a healing room and two external consultants.
The enlargement of the Clinic in Meki has a very special significance; it allows us to enter more children with malnutrition in the clinic and save their lives. They can thereafter start a new live away from the phantom of malnutrition and write their own story, a story of hope and live. This enlargement also enables us to attend more external consultations. At present five ,which daily receive and attend more than a hundred of children.
On top, in 2016 we obtained the Licence of specialized Paediatric Clinic, which means we can attend indoor patients with any pathology, even the most complex, and therefore it has turned out to be a reference centre in paediatrics in the entire area.
The Clinic in Meki is sustained thanks to the effort of the local staff and the Spanish health team (doctors, infirmaries and physiotherapists) who yearly come to Meki, to continuously train and form the local staff improving the quality of care.
The Paediatric Clinic Kidane Mihret “Let Children Have Health”
- The Clinic was inaugurated in April 2012. At present we attend more than 20.000 patients per year. We are strongly committed to do it better each day.
- Our patients mainly come from Meki , but they do come as well from other parts of the region, often after walking for more than two or three hours. Our general practice is opened from Monday till Fridays. Saturdays we open to attend malnutrition and we organize health educational chats.
- The severe cases that need admission or surgery are sent to the hospitals in Gambo or Addis Abeba. We assume the cost of their treatments.
The most common problems of boys and girls of Meki
The most frequent pathologies are bronchitis, bronchiolitis, stomach flu… and many cases of malnutrition, diarrhoea, intestinal parasites, TB/HIV, malaria, typical of the rural African area.
A Clinic for the little ones, but with great plans
- Renutrition Unit: this is the first step of each of our patients who walks into our clinic. We make a screening on their nutritional status, and we provide a structured follow up of all children who are malnourished, dating them on Saturdays to complete their treatments. We also hand out nutritional helps and provide education and advice to the mothers for their children concerning educational health. More than 500 children benefit yearly from this service and another 500 get nutritional help.
- Physiotherapy Unit: due to the high number of patients with cerebral palsy, handicaps or, in general, difficulties in movement that we attended at our paediatric consultation service, we decided to set up an unit of physiotherapy, that along the year covers their needs. The inauguration of the unit was in November 2013.
- Formation course for local staff: workshops for treatment of burned or abscesses, workshops for additional nutrition and feeding for severe malnourishment, protocols of triage peripheral routes, fever, dosage of medication in paediatrics, oxygen therapy and a course in medical urgencies. We have assumed a scholarship for a local lab technician at the University.
Beside we are offering other services, which bit by bit are consolidating in form of periodical campaigns of other subspecialties.
Campaign of Heart Surgery for Children
Yearly we organize a heart surgery campaign, which is done by Spanish doctors and nurses in cooperation with Children Heart Fund of Ethiopia.
During the campaign we do catheterizations and open heart operations so that the children can survive their heart problems. This campaign represents for these children the sole possibility to heal their little hearts and to have a bigger hope to live, as the cardiology isn’t really developed in their country.
Have a look at the Campaign Heart Surgery 2014 “Healing hearts”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj47oyxSE1Y
Campaigns (in Spanish)
Memories of the Clinic Activity (in Spanish)