A hospital for Adwa


Help us provide medical services in the new Adwa hospital. To offer new hope to mothers and children, in a land where death in childbirth or during the first years of life is still an everyday reality.

20% of births in the world and 40% of deaths in childbirth globally occur in Africa. These deaths could be prevented if there were only adequate, easily accessible health care. Mothers die from common post-partum lacerations due solely to the lack of the instruments needed to close the wound. Children die from simple dysentery, infection or flu. We want this to STOP!


The Adwa region is the centre of an armed conflict which began on November 4, 2020 due to serious political and military crisis between the central government and the party in power in the Tigray.

Kidane Mehret hospital, in the Mission, seems to be the only one within a radius of hundreds of kilometres currently capable of caring for the sick and wounded.

The stop to telecommunications, services and travel overland and by air has prevented the arrival of humanitarian aid and essential goods, and we are asking all the international organisations operating in the area for help reaching and assisting medical staff and aid workers who have stayed in the area despite the danger.

We are asking everyone to help save lives in a place where the survival of the entire population is at risk!

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT – go to the form

or transfer funds to the account

on Intesa S. Paolo: IBAN IT46M0306923406100000006546 BIC/SWIFT BCITITMM

in the name of Amici di Adwa onlus


Every little donation to the project is of value!

Here are a few examples:

  • Donate a specialised diagnostic examination for a pregnant mother or a sick patient for only €24
  • Donate a laboratory testing kit: 16 tests cost only €48
  • Donate a surgical operation with a follow-up appointment: €96
  • Donate 1 month’s wages for an Ethiopian doctor: €340

How the project was born and grew:


The average mortality rate of women during or after childbirth in Ethiopia is 350 deaths for every 100,000 live births. 6 out of 100 children die before the age of 5.

In Adwa (Tigray region), there is a government hospital but it offers extremely poor services in dangerous hygienic conditions. There is only one doctor with a medical degree; the rest of the staff has no official qualifications. Medication and medical devices are not available. The electricity comes and goes, the kitchen runs on wood fire, the laundry is washed by hand on the floor…

This is why a new hospital absolutely had to be built, where the women of Adwa can safely give birth to their babies. Where a fracture from a simple fall will no longer mean a permanent disability.

In 2008, the Ethiopian authorities formally asked Sister Laura Girotto and the other sisters (Salesians of Don Bosco FMA) for help. The sisters had already been working locally for 15 years, offering instruction, education and financial aid to families.


The Daughters of Mary Helper of Christians sisters of the Kidane Mehret mission immediately got to work to help their people once again.

They appealed to all the Amici di Adwa Association donors in Italy, who had already made it possible to build the school in ten years.

Angelo Dell’Acqua, already a volunteer architect for the mission, drew up the blueprints; Cherenet, a construction company from Addis Abeba, is skilfully carrying out the work. An agreement has been signed with government authorities.

A group of doctors from the A.S.P.O.S. association in Padua provides technical consulting and side by side training. On-site since 2008, they have been able to verify the current conditions and provide medical aid to the Adwa population.
Groups of ophthalmologists have also made significant contributions, first with the MAIS PLUS non-profit association, then with AMOA.

The order of the Sisters of San Giuseppe B. Cottolengo immediately offered an important contribution. Back in the autumn of 2014, two of the sisters went to Adwa to work in the infirmary and clinics, nurse-midwife Sister Pauline and physiotherapist Sister Betty.

The Ethiopian Catholic University will send its students to do their internships in the future hospital in Adwa, and so it will become a teaching hospital where local and international doctors work side by side.

In the meantime, in 2018 and 2019 Amici di Adwa Association began a project providing professional training for local nursing staff, sending nurses from Italy to provide on-the-job training.


vista ospedale adwa maggio 2019

The structure was erected on a plot adjacent to the mission, made available by the Adwa city administration. When completed, it will include the Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Medicine, Surgery and Pediatric wards, 3 operating theatres and 2 delivery rooms, an emergency ward and a testing laboratory.

There will also be an outpatient clinic for Dentistry, Radiology, Ophthalmology and Physiotherapy.

Patients will come from a 100 square kilometre area including the city of Adwa and all the nearby villages.


State of progress on the project

Work to complete the complex is underway.


Construction of the basic structure has now been completed.

The first wing is ready, complete with windows and doors, installations, finishes, furniture and equipment.
In November 2018 the Ethiopian government authorised the practice of medicine in the first wing of the new Adwa hospital. It was accredited as a HEALTH CENTRE with an outpatient clinic, emergency ward and beds for 27 patients.


In the meantime, it has applied for accreditation as a PRIMARY HOSPITAL authorized to provide extended care and open a gynaecology and obstetrics ward.

Thanks to an important contribution from a generous entrepreneur and the CEI, the Health Centre has opened and the original project has been expanded, adding another storey to the structure for a total of more than 200 beds.

The project takes into account the financial, environmental and social conditions in Adwa (the electricity comes and goes, the dust, sun and insects ruin many materials like wood and plastic, people are not used to using toilets…) and the chronic lack of materials, semifinished products and technicians.

To see the pictures with the all the progress updates, visit our facebook page.

Since the presentation of a new project in 2019, Amici di Adwa has obtained a very important contribution from the “The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust” of America, guaranteeing the funds required to complete the structural work and installations and provide an initial supply of medical equipment required to begin services in the outpatient clinic and the internal medicine, surgery, maternity and gynaecology wards.

The Coronavirus pandemic has, unfortunately, considerably slowed down construction work, importation of materials from Italy, and travel of the technicians required to install the equipments… But we have never stopped working, in the hopes of completing the work within a year or two!

EMERGENCY IN A STATE OF WAR: the wards and beds that were being prepared have been quickly made operative in order to respond to the great need for medical care. As telecommunications are not up and running again yet, it is impossible to obtain news in real time, but the International Red Cross has testified that the situation of public hospitals is dramatic due to the shortage of medications and equipment as well as damage caused by the current conflict. Only the 13% of Health facilities are functioning normally (read the MSF report) This is why the assistance that Kidane Mehret Hospital can offer is fundamental for so many people!


The help of all our friends in Italy is essential to provide medical services for people who would not otherwise be able to afford them, and to all those who risk dying in childbirth or of a simple infection, or being left permanently maimed as a result of an ordinary fall.

Every little contribution is of great value to help pay the wages of local hospital staff: Ethiopian and Cuban doctors, Kenyan technicians, Ethiopian nurses and all the operators providing auxiliary services.

Any donation can help to buy essential materials such as reagents for the testing laboratory or machinery to equip the new delivery room, or pay out-of-pocket expenses such as electricity bills, patients’ meals, cleaning services, and so on.

Thank you for you help, from the heart!