Since September 2013, WAHA has been implementing a new project in a crisis setting in Ethiopia: Dollo Ado, the second-largest refugee complex in the world that accommodates more than 198.451 refugees in 5 camps. This small town in South-East Ethiopia, on the border with Somalia, became the second-largest refugee operation in the world when the UNHCR opened the Bokolmayo camp in 2009 for refugees fleeing insecurity in Somalia.
The Somali refugee population of reproductive age is marked by overall poor health and faces a higher than average risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. However, the refugee population has extremely limited access to emergency obstetric care and cEmOC services are not currently available in Melkadida, Bokolmayo, or Buramino camps.
It is in this crisis setting that WAHA has been intervening since September 2013 to ensure that high quality comprehensive emergency obstetric care is available to women in Bokolmayo, Melkadida and Buramino camps, and the host population in Dollo Ado.
To this end, we have been providing the necessary medical equipment, supplies and medicine to the Bokolmayo health center as well as undertaking required renovations works.
Additional local health workers have been recruited and Comprehensive Emergency maternal Obstetric Care services will be launched in January 2014 at the new Bokolmayo health center.
We will provide cEmOC services to approximately 1,100 women from the camps and host population, performing surgical interventions, notably emergency C-sections, in Bokolmayo health center. Medical staff at Bokolmayo health center will be trained in comprehensive emergency obstetric care and refresher courses in basic emergency obstetric care will be given to health professionals at several camp health infrastructures, including the Bokolmayo health center.
Our motorbike ambulances will be stationed at targeted health centers and will be used to transfer emergency obstetric cases.
With this new project, WAHA has unarguably become a front-line actor in the fight to improve maternal health care in Ethiopia. As we continue expanding our scope of activities in 2014, we aim to change the lives of an even higher number of mothers in disadvantaged settings.
By the WAHA team in Ethiopia