Amref Health Africa brings access to medical services to mothers and children
Hewan Anego, 37, lives in Chelegod Kebele, South Ari district of Southern Ethiopia. Hewan is married and is a strong woman who has gone through a painful experience as a mother when she lost her new born children during pregnancy or few weeks after birth.
Hewan got married when she was 15, a year after she was pregnant with a baby boy whom she delivered at home. At the fourth month her baby got ill and Hewan was unable to get him medical treatment as there was not a health center in her village. Her baby passed away when Hewan was on her way to a health center in another village far from hers. Hewan again lost her second child few weeks after delivery. Then she miscarried at the 8th month of her third pregnancy. Hewan went through similar experiences with the following three pregnancies.
I was desperate to have children so I didn’t loose hope. At my seventh pregnancy the delivery occurred at home just like the other pregnancies. Fortunately, for the first time the child survived. With two years interval I got pregnant three times and it was all successful.” Hewan said.
She added, "at my eleventh pregnancy a health post was built by Amref Health Africa in our village so I went and told my history to the health worker. She was concerned about me and told me to see her regularly until I give birth. At the eighth month of pregnancy she told me that I will be referred to a hospital when my pregnancy becomes term. I asked what her reason was and she told me that I am a high risk mother and need to be attended with highly specialized medical team during labour. I was referred me to the Jinka hospital. Thanks to the health extension worker at my village I safely gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Now my child is vaccinated and healthy.”
Currently Hewan is a member of her Kebele Health Management Committee. She has been trained by Amref Health Africa on community health care packages of health extension program, and on the roles and responsibilities of Kebele Health Management Team. She actively participates in different health and health related activities in her village. She assists the health extension workers when they conduct house to house visits to teach the community and supervise the hygienic condition of the households.
When the village community gathers for kebele health day, community conversation and any other social issues, Hewan mobilizes the community to attend meetings. Hewan motivates and initiate her community to take part in health interventions such as vaccination, maintaining personal and environmental hygiene, use of latrine etc.
Written by Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia team.