August 2011| Building A Global Health Gateway to Rural Ethiopia

Amazing things happen when new friendships are formed. Accepting an invitation to participate in the opening of a new hospital in the Oromo region of Rural Ethiopia, EHA COO Katreena Salgado and USC Residency Program Medical Director Dr. Maureen Strohm, learned firsthand about Oromia, our new sister region in rural Ethiopia, and the challenges the local communities face.

 

The experts at Oxford University have six indicators of poverty (Multi-Poverty Index or MPI) that they use to qualify communities as “destitute.” Through their Multi-Poverty Index, these public health experts identified Ethiopia — specifically Oromia — as one of the world’s most destitute places to live.

 

Being immersed in the day to day lives of local Oromo community members was an excellent opportunity for the EHA team to develop a thoughtful and sustainable medical mission program that incorporates education, health and action as a means to address the debilitating issues of illiteracy, poverty and disease.

Mission Results
  • Cultivated relationships with Adama Hospital founder and leadership for future global health missions to rural Ethiopia
  • Cultivated relationships with local political and community leaders in Arsi Negele to better understand the needs and challenges in education and health
  • Initiated relationships with local school district administrator in Gode Village to identify student and teacher needs
  • Developed an in-depth understanding of needs, challenges and opportunities upon which to build a comprehensive Medical and Humanitarian Mission program

I have never experienced such joy, hospitality and dignity from a community that is bereft of running water, modern conveniences and sadly, even health care. What this community lacks in such amenities does not compare to the love, openness and eagerness to so readily share whatever they have. The community proudly took us on a tour of their new high school, construction of which was made possible by Dr. Gudata Hinika and his family. They left us with an indelible message, “now that you’ve met us, please don’t forget us.”

Maureen Strohm, MD

EHA Medical Volunteer