Ethiopia Healthcare Network Awards Maternal and Infant Care Grant to LeAlem Higher Clinic (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 General News J E 4

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 Ethiopia Healthcare Network (EHN) announced award of an initial maternal and infant healthcare grant to LeAlem Higher Clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The competitive award will enable LeAlem to care for 100 patients each month, patients who could not otherwise afford or access professional medical care. The grant will provide funds for LeAlem to hire medical and social work staff, and buy medicine and equipment. LeAlem is headed by Dr. Alemayehu (Dinku) Gebrehiwot, Medical Director, a specialist in pediatrics, obstetrics and emergency medicine.

Upon learning of the award, Dr. Alemayehu responded, "[EHN's] support is a godsend. We will now be able to treat more patients among my country's most needful population." Only 52% of Ethiopians have access to health care services and fewer than 6% of women have access to a health professional while giving birth. Ethiopian women have a 1 in 27 chance of dying during childbirth primarily due to preventable complications.

The EHN grant will provide healthcare for five new patients every day, 25 persons a week, and 100 persons a month for six months. As a result, healthier children and women will perform their normal duties and strengthen bread-winning activities. The EHN grant provides not just in-clinic care, but social worker outreach to identify those most in need and monitor and support post-clinic patient performance -- patient home care, access to and taking medicines.

EHN is guided by a board of directors with expertise in obstetric and emergency medicine, information systems and telecommunications, Ethiopia and third-world development, and non-profit organizations. EHN will evaluate LeAlem performance under the initial grant, and work to increase and extend support and practices that prove most beneficial.

EHN President John W. Wimberly notes, "We envision this effort and LeAlem as a highly-efficient model for care delivery and use of EHN resources. Our goal is to use this model to extend support from 100 people to hundreds, if not thousands, of patients each month at LeAlem and similar clinics." In the next 2-5 years, Wimberly notes, "EHN plans to add clinics and extend services and capabilities to rural Ethiopia, where maternal and infant healthcare needs are more dire than in the capital city."

SOURCE Ethiopia Healthcare Network


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