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Science and Medicine

2004-04-16

AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Wolisso centre with a population of 400,000 is to have a hospital and a school for training nurses and public health workers

Rome (Fides Service) - A good health care centre in a densely populated area important (130/km2) such as Wolisso was extremely necessary because in the Woreda district with a population of 340.000 people there are no minor health centres to treat most illnesses and the 3 or 4 most frequent diseases which are responsible for about 80% of pathology in the area. There is only one Health Centre which provide preventive treatment, basic treatment and rehabilitation with ten beds and an out-patients service which is not very functional.
The local Catholic Church is very active in the field of health care and social assistance. In 1994 it contacted the Italian organisation Doctors with Africa (CUAMM) asking help to face the problem of a scarcity of qualified health care personnel for its programmes.
CUAMM co-ordinator in Ethiopia studied the situation and offered to build a new hospital at Wolisso with the requested standards for training nurses and public health workers. The hospital would also provide assistance for the people of the area. The hospital is the answer to a thirty year wait of Woreda people living at Wolisso, for whom the nearest hospitals are at Attat 65 km distant and Addis Ababa 130 km.
In rural areas homes are not supplied with running water. Moreover only in 17.9% of cases the water drawn comes from safe sources. In 82.1% of the cases it comes from uncontrolled sources or rivers. 97.3% of the families have no sanitary services and use the surrounding land. This is a frequent cause of disease including diarrhea which is one of the main casues of death. (AP) (16/4/2004 Agenzia Fides; Righe:29 Parole:341)

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