Filled to the brim with medical supplies the 2nd shipment for AgapeMED departed the MATTER warehouse headed to Ethiopia. We sat down with Aby Tezera of AgapeMED who has been spearheading everything from funding to rallying volunteers in the sorting and packing of medical supplies into MATTERboxes for this shipment.
What is the biggest healthcare need in Ethiopia?
The main health care concerns in Ethiopia include maternal mortality, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS compounded by acute malnutrition, lack of access to clean water and sanitation. Besides battling the killer diseases and dangerous traditional practices, 3 of the biggest healthcare needs in Ethiopia are facilities, staffing, and supplies.
1. A shortage of facilities…
Ethiopia’s towns and cities have hospitals and clinics with full-time staff and doctors. However, over four-fifths of Ethiopians live in rural areas, where it can be a struggle to access health care facilities.
2. A shortage of medical staff…
For any complex ailments, rural patients are referred to larger clinics. However, options for treatment or surgery can be limited because of a severe shortage of doctors and nurses. With the difficulty in accessing healthcare many Ethiopians use traditional healing methods and medicines.
3. A shortage of medical supplies and equipment…
In Ethiopia, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals struggle to get the necessary medical supplies to effectively treat their patients. These professionals are hampered by their lack of both basic medical supplies, such as sutures, surgical tools, and technical diagnostic equipment, including ultrasound machines and cardiac monitors and so on. We have witnessed these situations in many cities and have seen how it leads to poor access to basic healthcare.
How has the partnership with MATTER made the healthcare goals of AgapeMED possible?
AgapeMED travels to Ethiopia for a medical mission once a year in a collaboration with CMDDF “Ethiopian Christian medical Doctors and Dentist Fellowship” which is based in Ethiopia. Our mission is to reach those under-privileged. One of AgapeMED vision is to support different hospitals and health care centers by providing medical supplies and equipment. This vision became possible when we found MATTER, and in 2016, with the help of this great organization AgapeMED able to ship half a million worth of life-saving medical supplies and equipment to Melka Oda Hospital in Shashemene, Ethiopia. It’s a blessing to have such an organization that supports the mission and vision of AgapeMED. During our 2016 medical mission trip, a total of 3,372 people got medical treatments!
How does this shipment of medical supplies impact the community?
Our next medical mission trip will be in a small town called Holeta, in Ethiopia from May 29th-June 4th. For the second time, a 40 ft. container of life-saving medical equipment and supplies, donated by Matter, is heading to a new primary hospital Holeta, Ethiopia. The medical supplies will be able to supply the brand new, Primary Hospital Holeta, which will help thousands of patients who are in need