Medical Help for Refugees in Ethiopia
My name is Hani* and I am a refugee living in Addis Ababa.
My family fled our village in Somalia due to the conflict there.
Along with many others from my country, we had to find safety or face terrible violence. And that is why I am here with my brothers in Ethiopia.
My mother and I care for my two ailing brothers, Abdullahi*, 19, and Mahad,* 21. They are both sick with a degenerative disease that affects their nervous system. Doctors have told me that they will not recover but can be helped with medicine to relieve the symptoms a little and reduce the pain in their joints. I know how this disease affects someone because a few years ago my older sister suffered from it and died in our homeland of Somalia. I am well and I am glad we can care for my brothers.
When we first arrived, my brothers were getting worse with the nerve disease. I was worried for them but didn’t know what to do. Fortunately for us, aid workers from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church are very active in helping all the refugees. After a few weeks I was able to speak with a representative and he came and met my brothers. He was so helpful and arranged for us to see a doctor straight away.
The doctor did some tests on my brothers. A week later, with the aid worker’s help, we saw the doctor again who gave us medicine for my brothers and also demonstrated exercises to help ease the pain in their legs.
I spend most of my day looking after my brothers. Mahad can’t walk anymore and Abdullahi is deteriorating also. Many would find this outlook very bleak but we are happy to be together because we are a family. If we were not here together, I would hate to think what would have become of us. I miss my home very much. I have warm memories of my sister, my friends and school in Somalia, but we couldn’t remain safe there. I’m also relieved that we aren’t in danger any more.
I am a refugee and we fled Somalia with very little. The government won’t let us work in Ethiopia so I can’t earn money to pay for the doctor visits or medicine. Thanks to kind people like you, we have it provided for us. Without this my brothers would be in constant pain. This has given me hope for our future.
* Names have been changed to protect identities
• Give thanks for the work of EOC-DICAC and the work they do to bring hope to refugees in Ethiopia.
• Pray for healing for those suffering with long term illness.
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Owing to its geographical location and to geopolitical developments, Ethiopia is likely to continue to receive more people seeking refuge from neighbouring countries. The Government maintains an open-door-policy and continues to allow humanitarian access and protection to those seeking refuge on its territory. More than 630,000 refugees are accommodated, mainly in camps, throughout the country.
With your generous support Act for Peace and our program partner the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC) provides access to health services for refugees who have had to be moved to the urban areas of Ethiopia, like Addis Ababa, in order to get help for serious health issues
that can’t be adequately treated in the rural refugee camps. The support provided includes assistance with medical expenses, supplementary dietary requirements and emergency housing. These services are also available to those who are survivors of gender-based violence.
Act for Peace’s local partner EOC-DICAC is providing urban refugees with access to health services and education in Addis Ababa, and more than 490 critically sick refugees in different health institutions are being treated for their various conditions. These health interventions have significantly reduced the rates of morbidity and mortality amongst the refugees.
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More ways to take action
You can help prevent children like Maala being born with chronic illnesses by helping pregnant women stay healthy and nourished in the first place.
Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (June 2017). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.
Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.