Adopt a Children’s Hospital 2

  • For whom: 30.000 ERITREAN CHILDREN
  • What you can do: DONATE 10 EURO A MONTH

Title of the project

Adopt a Children’s Hospital 2

Place of the action

Asmara, Eritrea

Description of the context

Children’s health is a major issue in Eritrea, as well as in other developing countries. The main causes of infant mortality (0-5 years old) in Eritrea are: pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and malnutrition, in addition to neonatal causes (infections, premature birth, asphyxia at birth) affecting more than a quarter (27%) of the total children mortality 0-5 years (source: UNICEF).
Eritrea is making a great effort to fight infant mortality, with a reduction of 4% per year over the last decade, thanks to the work done by the Ministry of Health on malaria control, prevention of infectious diseases by vaccination (90% coverage with measles elimination), and improvements in the prevention and treatment of major diseases, which cause infant death.
Annulliamo la Distanza realized important projects for cooperation in the field of paediatric health care in the past. In 2004 and in 2019, it worked for the rehabilitation of the ER at Orotta Paediatric Hospital in Asmara (the only children’s hospital on Eritrean territory where each year 30,000 children are visited), in collaboration with the Eritrean Ministry of Health, the Hospital Meyer in Florence, the Hospital Carlo Pizzardi of Bologna (in 2019) and with the support of the Tuscany Region. After almost twelve years, a new intervention on the structure appears to be necessary to cope with the health problems of the multitude of children residing Eritrea: in agreement with the Ministry of Health and the Orotta Hospital Administration, we decided to intervene with masonry work and supply of medical equipment to rehabilitate the ward B, located at the first floor of the Orotta Paediatric Hospital.

The project

The project aims at improving the quality of public health services in Eritrea through reconstruction and rehabilitation of paediatric medical facilities and the supply of medical materials. The project intends to ensure basic health conditions to children: a prerequisite for building a culture of peace and non-violence. We need to guarantee an effective diagnosis and treatment for children, but also prevention, education and information for mothers and more generally for families.
Specifically, the following activities will be implemented:
1) Renovating the ward B, located at the first floor of the Orotta Paediatric Hospital, through the following steps:
-Painting of internal and external walls
-Refurbishment of the floor
-Rehabilitation of the toilets
– Reconstruction of the electrical system
2) Supplying medical equipment and consumable material.
3) Training nurses and health personnel with skills and knowledge in the field of paediatric assistance and work organization according to the most recent Evidence Based Practice Nursing.

The project is co-funded by the Delegation of the European Union, Centro Salute Globale, and Annulliamo la Distanza’s private funds.

Achieved results

In January 2020, AnlaDi, the Eritrean Ministry of Health and the administration of the Orotta paediatric hospital signed a memorandum of understanding for the rehabilitation of the first floor (WARD B) of Orotta paediatric hospital. Following the signature of the MoU, a contract was immediately signed with Segen Construction Company to promptly start the renovation works. Purchase orders for construction, hydraulic and electrical material were made and in March 2020 the first 40 “container was sent to Massawa. In May 2020, the container arrived in Asmara, but due to the COVID 19 lockdown declared by the Eritrean authorities, the works were in stand-by and only in the month of August 2020 SEGEN company was able to resume its activities at the hospital at a reduced pace. In the meantime, to avoid wasting precious time, on August 12, 2020, we sent a second 40” container with tiles, paints, glass, mechanical materials, electrical panels and pipes which is currently in the port of Massawa waiting to receive custom clearance.

With the support of one of our volunteers specialised in interior design, and with the support of a paediatrician, we listed some medical furniture and equipment to be purchased for the WARD B. In September 2020, we published the tender where we invited four companies specialised in hospital furniture. In October 2020, we awarded the tender to the best bidder, thus purchasing thermal cots, radiant lamps, paediatric beds and mattresses, bedside tables, etc.

A training course for nurses, health assistants and cleaners took place in December 2019. Unfortunately, due to Covid 19, it was not possible to carry out the second and third training missions for health personnel scheduled for June and December 2020. We will evaluate the feasibility for a mission in the first half of 2021, it being understood that the safety of our collaborators and volunteers in Italy, and of our collaborators and beneficiaries in Eritrea, always comes first.