Gwent medic team returns to help Ethiopia
A GWENT charity which has helped train almost half the health workers in Southern Ethiopia is set to return in the twelfth year of its help.
The team of 14, including surgeons, midwives, anaesthetists and microbiologists are going to Ethiopia tomorrow to give training and bring much-needed equipment.
Consultant surgeon at Nevill Hall hospital Biku Ghosh founded the Southern Ethiopia-Gwent healthcare link in 2000.
He outlined the challenges the group faces: “In the region we work in, they have a population of 17 million and they have only 22 hospitals. Many of the villages are 100-150km away from the nearest hospital.
So our aim is to train people in the rural health centres.”
“One way or another we have given training to nearly half of the health workers in this region. That, we feel, is a great achievement.”
Training to midwives is one of the main types of instruction the group gives.
The country has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world, with 561 women dying for every 100,000 live births, so this area of their work is vital.
This will be Nevill Hall-based midwife EmmaMills’ second visit.
She says she wasn’t prepared for the gulf in experience of childbirth between the UK and rural Ethiopia.
“In the UK although our main priority is the safety of the mum and baby, we’ve got the luxury of helping make childbirth a good experience. In Ethiopia their main priority is saving lives and getting people through delivery.”
Our man in Ethiopia
ARGUS digital editor Martin Wade will be going with the Gwent-Southern Ethiopia Link on their visit to the African nation.
He is travelling after being awarded the Nick Lewis Bursary.
The £1,500 award, which is given annually to journalists at the Argus and associated sister weekly papers in South Wales, is given in memory of journalist Nick Lewis.
Former Newport man Mr Lewis worked at the South Wales Argus and the BBC, and was the chief sub-editor of Wales on Sunday when he died in 1999 from cancer.
You can keep up with Martin’s progress by following him on Twitter @MartinJamesWade or on this website below.