Gashena, Ethiopia: Eye Medical and Surgical Treatment at Emanuel Clinic
As one of the oldest and most pivotal projects permanently undertaken by PBF, Gashena Medium Health Clinic has been serving the needy since it was officially implemented in November 2012; in a smaller town called “Gashena” – in North Wollo, Amhara Regional State of Ethiopia. Since its establishment, the clinic has been offering all kinds of medical diagnosis, treatments including the provision of medicines and other facilities with full financial support from PBF.
Largely attributed to the infectious weather condition and the sanitation related problems, sizeable number of people in the community are susceptible to different and constantly reoccurring acute eye-diseases. Symptoms such as cataract, glaucoma, pterygium, Uveitis, Eyelid turned in, Trachoma, Dry-eye, Sclerotizes, Far or Near-sightedness, and Other conjunctiva are the most frequently detected eye-diseases in the area.
Notwithstanding the vulnerability of all sections of the community, children and elderly people are the most exposed ones. More worrying is the absence of well-equipped health services and lack of specialist doctors in the area. This paucity, coupled with very the far locational distance of the place from the cities with relatively better services has made it extremely difficult for the patients to have any prospect of getting the service hoping to recover from these various eye-sicknesses. For that matter, most of the patients cannot afford the cost for the treatments.
It was this very demanding situation of the people in this area that prompted PBF to expand and reorganise the Clinic with the necessary facilities and human resource, in order for the victims to get the service at the town of their own.
Currently, Gashena Clinic is providing both medical and surgical treatments to a large number of patients. During the months of May and July 2017 periods alone, the Clinic was able to provide the surgical and medical treatments for 122 patients. Few others had to be referred to higher hospitals in Addis Ababa due to the seriousness of their condition – most of them suffering from retinal detachment and diabetic – so that they may have a chance for intense medical and surgical treatment.
As there is no permanently employed eye-specialist doctor, the Clinic is providing the service only on a periodical schedule by inviting specialists who could come and treat our patients staying for some time interval. Given the pressing demand for the service, we hope to provide the treatment on a regular basis if we can employ a specialist doctor for the Clinic on a permanent base.
All the patients and the society in general remain always thankful to the PBF for its unwavering financial and material support, without which, nowhere could the Clinic be moving forward.