The SOS Medical Center in Jimma, Ethiopia, is improving the health of families in the surrounding communities. For Esetu and her family, the center has been a lifeline – without its services, her and her granddaughters would not have been able to receive the medical care and attention they needed.

Esetu lives with her elderly mother, young daughter and two of her grandchildren in the city of Jimma in Ethiopia. She is the sole breadwinner for the family and the family of five lives on just £50 a week.

Before the Medical Center opened in 2012, there was rarely enough money for Esetu and her family to visit the doctor when they fell ill. “We were extremely vulnerable,” says Esetu. “Seeing a doctor at a private or government hospital is expensive and would upset my budget, compromising my ability to feed my family.”

Giving the most vulnerable access to medical care

Things couldn’t be more different now. When Esetu recently fell ill with typhoid, a dangerous infection that can be deadly if not treated quickly, and her youngest granddaughter developed a severe skin infection, they were able to walk to the SOS Medical Center just 10 minutes from her house.

There, for a fraction of the cost of a private hospital, they were treated by a doctor and seen by a health officer who gave Esetu advice on preventing future instances of typhoid in her home.

“I am on treatment and I am feeling better now,” she says. “I am very grateful that the low-cost of the SOS Medical Center means that I am still able to care for my family. I thank the SOS Medical Center for helping us!”

The SOS Medical Center in Jimma opened in 2012 and is run by a team of four. Over 80 patients receive treatment there every day and, in 2015, some 15,000 people made use of the Center.

Source: SOS Children UK
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