8 January 2018
Jimma University Hospital, in southwestern Ethiopia, is one of just a handful of a referral centres in the whole country. The hospital receives every diabetic patient from the whole zone, serving a total population of more than 15 million people. Patient referral numbers are extremely high as primary health care centres often have no chronic disease training or the diagnostic machines like glucometers to carry out further investigation. Through a THET and University of Southampton Partnership we are providing training to Health Extension Workers and hospital health workers to develop diagnostic skills and patient care. Here is Kadima’s story, a patient helped through this partnership.
Kadima is 35 years old and has travelled over 35km to attend her appointment today. A mother of five she has been suffering from Diabetes for 13 years, after being referred from her local health centre she visits us here every two months to pick up her insulin and to receive check-ups. For Kadima, the insulin is free of charge as she cannot afford it but it still costs the hospital a huge amount to buy the medicine and often there are shortages.
“My condition means that I cannot work as I am too weak and this has caused me to develop depression. It is a struggle. I pay 100 Birr each time I come here which is a lot when I cannot earn.
Friends who love me also give me the money for the transportation and so I can come to the follow up sessions. But I have been admitted twice to the hospital before because I could not get to my appointments for check-up or to pick up my medicine.
The community I live in gives me social support. We live on a farm but my husband was hit by a car around the same time that I got sick and because he is injured and cannot work much either the community now help us with this.
I am most sorry not to be able to teach my children either and they are having to teach themselves, they are 5, 8, 10, 15 and 17 years old.”