March 3, 2010

Doctors Giving Back in Ethiopia

Vox,

Like last year, we will each be bringing 100 lbs of medical supplies to the two regions that we have been working with, Addis Ababa and Assosa from March 4th – March 19th, and this year we will be doing more construction work in the Assosa hospital that serves 1 million Ethiopians, to get cleaner water sources into the facilities. And although the need in Ethiopia has always been great, the country experienced severe weather conditions in 2009 that caused a famine that was unseen since 1984. At the moment 6.2 million people are in need of emergency care.

For the past 4 years, Doctors Giving Back (DGB) has been sending medical and construction teams composed of doctors, volunteers, and professionals to work closely with Ethiopian pastors, community leaders, and residents to assess and respond to the needs in two main regions in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa and Assosa, where the communities are composed of some of the most welcoming and gracious people I have ever met, just lacking major basic necessities.

1. DISEASE. The DGB team works to gather medical histories, provide diagnosis, and distribute medications and vaccinations. Last year, the team saw more than 1,000 individuals with diseases such as Malaria, Typhoid, TB, and AIDS. One in every five children dies from malaria and diarrhea in Ethiopia. These are preventable diseases and the focus of the DGB team is to provide communities in both cities and more remote villages with the necessary medication to prevent such diseases.

2. WATER. One of the biggest problems in these communities is unclean water. About 85% of the diseases that people suffer and die from in Ethiopia are caused by drinking polluted water. DGB has been working on sustainable water solutions for these regions and is bringing a construction crew this time to create cleaner water sources for the Assosa hospital.

3. RECONSTRUCTION. Along with medical aid, our team is working to reconstruct a hospital. This hospital in Assosa serves about 1 million people from the surrounding towns, and is staffed with only two doctors and one surgeon.

WHAT DO WE NEED NOW?

This year, our team plans to travel to Ethiopia again in March, bringing medical supplies, clothing, glasses, and construction supplies. We would love some prayer for the safety our team (Americans and Ethiopians) as well as prayer for guidance and wisdom during out brief time there. Prayer for the people we will encounter, that relationships will continue to form and strengthen, and that God will use these relationships in developing sustainable change in these communities.

As a team, we are still currently trying to make our remaining $10,000 target to cover medical supplies and other trip costs to get both the supplies and individuals safely to Ethiopia. If you would still like to support the Doctors Giving Back team towards this trip, please visit their website at and click on “Donate”.

There are so many other projects that our friends and community leaders in Ethiopia have been running for years such as Solomon’s feeding programs. Thus, if you are interested in finding out more about the locally led programs in these communities in Addis Ababa and Assosa, please contact us because we’d LOVE to chat with you about the work they are doing. You can also get a glimpse of Solomon by checking out a clip called “Solomon Haile Shares a Story”.

Peace,
Delphine & Glen