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Diseases we take for granted as being curable remain major killers in Ethiopia.  Tetanus, diphtheria, measles and diarrhoea often cause death, particularly among children.  Polio, whooping cough, malaria and other endemic diseases are features of everyday life.

In Ethiopia many remote farming communities live without reliable access to health care.  Local health centres are invariably dilapidated and ill-equipped, if they exist at all, and villages can Girl with arm injurybe 150kms (nearly 100 miles) from their nearest hospital.

During the rainy season the rugged landscape, dissected by steep valleys and swift-flowing rivers, forms an effective barrier to patients seeking medical assistance and, even during dry periods, these isolated communities are cut off from any effective health care.  Providing a comprehensive health care service which is accessible to local communities is beyond the scope of Ethiopia's government.

Mother and childOur Response

IDP is working to improve access to health-care for isolated, rural communities in Ethiopia, where medical facilities are in a shocking state of disrepair and there is an urgent need for basic yet up-to-date equipment. 

In co-operation with existing health authorities, IDP works to improve access to essential medical equipment and drugs, and provide training to health professionals.  We provide redundant but serviceable equipment from UK hospitals to re-equip run-down hospitals and health centres in remote parts of the country.  By doing this we increase the capacity of local hospitals and health centres to respond to an acute need for medical services.

In particular, we:

  • rehabilitate rural health centres and hospitals to provide better access to health care for families in need;
  • collect redundant medical equipment from hospitals in the UK for distribution to rural health centres and hospitals in Ethiopia;
  • encourage collaborative links between medical professionals in Ethiopia and their counterparts in the UK.
Who Benefits?

Living in remote communities away from the main towns, poor farmers and their families have limited access to health care.  Despite travelling long distances to reach health facilities people often cannot get treatment due to the lack of necessary medical equipment and the default rate among those with ‘follow up' appointments is high. 

Initially, we are targeting health centres in four Woredas (districts) at Debark, Adi Arkay, Beyeda and Janamora in the North Gonder Zone of Amhara Region.  These health facilities serve a combined total of more than 1 million people and our work helps to improve health service delivery to these isolated communities.  We expect to benefit around 25% of the population, therefore our target beneficiaries number in excess of 250,000.  We will extend coverage to more health centres in other areas once we have the necessary funding in place.
How We Work

In developed countries, such as Great Britain, health facilities are regularly upgraded, superseded or replaced as a matter of policy in order to maintain the highest standards.  Until the time of replacement, medical equipment is kept serviceable and in operation in all our hospitals.

New technology and the need for reliability force the replacement of a great deal of perfectly good equipment, which then goes to waste.  Much of this redundant equipment still operates as designed and is a great improvement on the dilapidated equipment presently in use in most of the health institutions throughout Ethiopia.

We collect redundant but serviceable medical equipment - such as beds, ventilators and diagnostic instruments - and surplus supplies from hospitals in the UK.  At our warehouse in west London we conduct checks and make repairs as necessary, before arranging transport of useful equipment to Ethiopia.

Shipping is via Djibouti and overland to Addis Abeba, where customs clearance procedures are conducted - our Ethiopian charity status and project agreement entitle us to duty free import of all project equipment and supplies.  The equipment is then transported to a dedicated storage facility in the north of the country, for sorting according to pre-assessed need, and for onward delivery to designated health centres and hospitals.

The response from UK hospitals to our requests for redundant equipment has been most encouraging.  We have already shipped hospital beds, mattresses and uniforms to the north of the country and, after delivery, the empty shipping containers are adapted for use as health posts, where none yet exist, or as secure medical storage.

The potential for rehabilitating health centres in Ethiopia by recycling basic but reliable equipment is enormous.  We are now bringing our work to the attention of the wider public in order to raise the necessary funds to pay for the cost associated with collection and shipment of the equipment.

In Ethiopia, the need to provide health care for isolated communities is great and we welcome any support you can give.  Please consider supporting our work by making a donation.  Any support you can give will be greatly appreciated.



  Key Health Statistics  

Under 5y.o. mortality 119 / 1,000 births
Under 1y.o. mortality 75 / 1,000 live births
Maternal mortality 720 / 100,000 births
Children underweight Under 5y.o. = 34.6%
Adolescent fertility 109 / 1,000 girls
Life Expectancy @ birth Male 50, Female 59
No. of Hospital Beds 2 / 10,000 population
No. of Doctors 1,936 (1 / 40,000 pop.)
more health statistics ...
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