Monday, January 18, 2010

SV1 -- LeAlem and Atetegeb

Site Visit Day 1 (Monday). Walked to LeAlem for first site visit. Met key EHN staff -- Medical Director Dr. Alemayehu, additional doctor, laboratory director, and Gashaw, Abeje, and Almaz, social workers and program staff. Very impressive team. Observed patient intake for seven-year-old Desta (pictured below with mother) and documented case (e.g., income, living conditions, education, nutrition); learned about intake and referral structure; supporting HIV/ART and tuberculosis programs; network partners (churches, mosques, NGOs, local government healthcare organizations); obtained copies of partner relationship agreements and referral templates; learned LeAlem staff backgrounds and capability; toured LeAlem facilities, and more. Very busy day. Alemayehu saw c. 50 patients, clinic saw 100+ patients.

Very striking was afternoon visit to Atetegeb Worku Memorial Childcare Association facility in north Addis (assistant director Temesgen pictured at top, with child). Atetegeb, described by Melissa Faye Greene's There is No Me Without You, was remarkable. Joyous children, primarily AIDS orphans, age 11 months - 15 years. Most in good health, one (11 month old) suffering from failure to thrive (image below, with nurse).

Atetegeb is facing financial pressure due to completion of USAID grant for remote program in Bahir Dar and Debre Tabor (about 500 Km north of Addis, near Lake Tana) and pending completion of term with Hope for Children USA. Atetegeb facility fees are approximately $700 per month (not including salaries). Atetegeb pays for child medical care, including routine pediatric examination and advanced care (e.g., hospitalization, specialist visits). Due to strong mission alignment, EHN preliminarily agreed (subject to agreement by Alemayehu) to assume medical care for Atetegeb children, including pediatric exams, referrals and specialized care. This will reduce Atetegeb cost burden. Additional areas for prospective collaboration were discussed (e.g., Debre Tabor health program) for longer term, as EHN program matures.

Enjoyed traditional Ethiopian coffee with Atetegab Executive Director Sosina Tefarra, assistant director Temesgen, and staff. For me, a somewhat sedate Washingtonian, 30 minute drive from LeAlem to Atetegeb was notably exciting. Very fast driving, pedestrians, animals (donkeys, etc.), cars and buses zigging every-which-way, citizens marching in Epiphany parade ... apparent chaos, but no vehicular fatalities.

Site visit plan has proved very useful, established framework shared by team, and tools and interrogatories for data collection. Given productive day 1, much writing to do. Pictures look pretty good; only a few uploaded here b/c of hotel bandwidth constraints.

LeAlem 2010 Picture Library
EHN Blogs

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