Year Established: 2000

Fields of work Nursing
UK Partner --
Developing Country Partner --
Contact Mr Sunirmal (Biku) Ghosh Consultant Surgeon Neville Hall Hospital Brecon Road Abergavenny NP7 7EG UK Tel: 01873 732 439 bikughosh@googlemail.com

Originally formed between Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny and Dilla University in Southern Ethiopia, this Link began in 2000 with support from THET, following a request from Dilla College of Health Sciences to provide help with their training programme of mid-level health professionals.    Since then, it has developed into a Link between 17 million people of The Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR)  and Gwent to support health care delivery in the region.  This Link is an effective three-way partnership between the SNNPR Regional Health Bureau and Hawassa College on the Ethiopian side, and Gwent in the UK.  Gwent has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Regional Health Bureau, Hawassa College and the three health centres.  The Link has a Coordinator both in Ethiopia and the UK, an Assistant Coordinator in Ethiopia and Coordinators from each health centre.  It also has a  a designated bank account in Ethiopia.

Working in southern Ethiopia the Link focuses on

  • Supporting training of front line Health professionals-  nurses/midwives, health officers, doctors and  laboratory technicians
  • Supporting rural hospitals
  • Supporting Health Centres and rural health posts

Training:

In the last 11 years the Link has trained nearly 2000 mid level frontline health professionals, their trainers as well as community health workers(HEWs) in various emergency skills.

The link introduced for the first time in Ethiopia Continuing Medical Education(CME)  for the health officers.

Since then with the Link’s initiative a  3 year MSc programme has been started  since 2009 in Emergency Surgery and Obstetrics for the(non doctor) health officers – first of its kind in the world.  The Link have initiated support fro the MSc health officers students with annual skills workshop with support from the Association of  Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Link has also organised CME for the nurse anaesthetists working in SNNPR hospitals in their skills update.

The Link has been training laboartory technicians and organised CME programme for them.

The Link’s current emphasis is on MDG 5 (reducing maternal death ) and has been involved in emergency skills training for the midwives working in health centres and rural hospitals. For sustainability the link has introduced a Training the trainers programme for the tutors from all the nursing colleges in SNNPR.

The link also trains community Health Extension workers in safe and clean delivery at home and newborn care. So far nearly 600 has been trained including all of the HEWs working in Gedeo zone (population nearly 1 million)

The Link has helped to set up a skills lab in Hawassa College and has donated training manikins and other training equipment to all the nursing collges in SNNPR. The Link has donated over 3000 text books, computers, training CDs and other training materials to Dilla College, Dilla hospital, Hawassa College and to the health centres.

Donation of essential equipment:

  • The Link has supported 22 health centres with surgical, midwifery and laboratory instruments and equipment; drug budget support. The Link has also helped Dilla hospital with surgical, obstetric and laboratory equipment;  helped to develop there a blood banking services and thus helped the hospital to start working 24hours/day and 7days/week for emergencies.
  • The Link has so far donated over 60 Oxygen concentrators to all of the 17 hospitals in SNNPR and 4 of the health centres.
  • The Link has donated anaesthetic monitoring equipment; surgical, midwifery and anaesthetic equipment; operating table and patient trolleys. The Link helped to start a neonatal unit in Hawassa Hospital by donating incubators, phototherapy & exchange transfusion sets.
  • The Link has donated microscopes to Dilla College, Dilla Hospital and 4 health centres. The link introduced microbiology culture services at Hawassa Hospital and helped to set up a histopathology lab with frozen section service.
  • The Link introduced Motor bike ambulance for the first time in Ethiopia to help with the transport of critically ill patients from rural locations to health centres and hospitals. So far the Link has donated 6 motor bike ambulances to six health centres.
  • The Link has also donated 180 pedal bicycle for use by HEWs in the health posts

Exemplar health centres Since 2007, the Link has forged strong links with three health centres in the SNNPR: Wondogenet, Yirgacheffe and Alaba.  Jointly with health centre staff and the community the Link developed minimum standards of care in these health centres. Since 2010, a 4th health centre, Chelelktu has been included in this project. The standards and criteria of the three ‘exemplar’ health centres are regularly evaluated by each health centre and the Link, which works in collaboration with the health centre staff, the local woreda health council and the Regional Health Bureau. Since 2010 the ‘minimum standard of care’ at health centre level is promoted through workshops involving all the health centres in Gedeo zone.

Evaluation and monitoring:

Working jointly with the HCstaff, the local woreda health council and the Regional Health Bureau the link has agreed minimum standards of care at each of these facilities. The standards and criteria of the three ‘exemplar’ health centres are regularly evaluated by each health centre staff and reported to the link every three months and further evaluated by the link members during their six monthly visits to these HCs.  Since 2010 the ‘minimum standard of care’ at health centre level is promoted through workshops involving all the health centres in Gedeo zone.

Training the trainers

Motorbike ambulance in Alaba Health centre transporting pregnant mother with eclampsia

Baby with pneumonia receiving oxygen through oxygen concentrator

Contact Details

Mr Sunirmal (Biku) Ghosh
Consultant Surgeon

Neville Hall Hospital
Brecon Road
Abergavenny
NP7 7EG
UK

Tel: 01873 732 439
bikughosh@googlemail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Aberra A Gobeze MD
Associate Professor of Surgery and Urology

Hawassa Referral Hospital
Po Box - 531
Awassa
Ethiopia

aberra2007@gmail.com

 

Website: www.ethiopiagwentlink.org/v2/