Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SV3 -- LeAlem, Atetegeb and OSSA

Site visit Day 3 (Wednesday). "Symbol of Hope" (above), stamped on LeAlem patient processing forms. Three or four big events today. Quoted material from notes.

Atetegeb Partnership "I don't believe in an activist God, but sometimes you wonder: I was walking from Jupiter Hotel to LeAlem on busy Tito Street. I hadn’t slept well last night, so I was running late, about 9:30 AM. By Denver CafĂ© on Tito, waiting to get in a blue minibus, I saw a familiar face. It was Temesgen, Assistant Director from Atetegeb, who I had met Monday (notes). Of the millions of people in Addis, on the countless dusty corners, here was a man I knew, someone EHN could help. After surprise and greeting, I asked Temesgen if he wanted to come with me to see LeAlem Higher Clinic, about 150 meters down the road. We of course visited. I introduced Temesgen to staff partners, we toured the facilities, and Gashaw (social worker) got on the computer and prepared a referral agreement to enable Atetegeb to send children (and their nurses) to LeAlem for healthcare. A good days work! ... In my insomnia last night, cycling ‘What to do?’ concerns, I had thought through next steps. On waking I scribbled on my to-do notepad, '[Make sure to identify] specific next steps to set Atetegeb relationship.' Today’s encounter seemed Providential."

Patient Care We saw nine EHN-supported patients before I left clinic about 3:30 PM. Subject below is 16 year old boy without income (but in school), presented with dental pain (front teeth), swelling and bleeding. Treated by LeAlem dentist.

Memorial Plaque We installed a plaque in EHN/LeAlem patient reception office (where social workers obtain referral forms, develop patient background, record presenting diagnosis, and direct patients to course of care. The office is about 7x12 feet, with three or four desks, one of which I've taken over for site visit work. Depending on available translator, I interview patient and develop case study information. I may take patient picture.) The plaque honors the EHN-LeAlem relationship and major supporters, including "Joan Gibbons Wilson Memorial," for my mother who died cruelly from ALS.

OSSA Following a recommended line of inquiry, with social worker Gashaw, I visited OSSA -- Organization for Social Services for AIDS patients, not far from LeAlem. Compelling story, heart-breaking. "Had one-two hour meeting with Paulos Kenea, Addis Ababa region manager for OSSA, Organization for Social Services for AIDS. OSSA is supported by USAID, CDC, Catholic Relief Services and others.  Multi-path support for HIV/AIDS patients and impacted persons (e.g., AIDS orphans). Services include prevention counseling, psychosocial support, palliative care, orphan and vulnerable children program, and HIV testing. 120 trained community volunteers; home visit volunteers serve 10-12 households per day. Support for 5,500 children (285 HIV positive) and 1,220 patients on ART (anti-retroviral therapy) in Addis catchment.  Partners with EHN/LeAlem; economically disadvantaged OSSA pediatric clients receive non-ART medical care at LeAlem (up to 5 patient visits per day, no charge), under EHN program."

I'm going on site visits with OSSA Friday, where we will visit homes of indigent children in OSSA care.  OSSA manager Paulos made compelling argument for nutritional support (e.g, necessary for ART medicine intake, opportunistic disease defense). Children died last quarter due to nutritional insufficiency; children on ART with good nutrition often thrive.

Paulos provided me with several reports (which I'll read tonight), and case study of OSSA best practices, including testimonial about OSSA/LeAlem/EHN care model.

Friday will be very challenging.

LeAlem 2010 Picture Library
EHN Blogs

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