A hospital for Adwa

Help us build a new hospital in Adwa. To give 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.

In 2017 half of the deaths among children under age 5 still occurred in sub-Saharan Africa (source: Unicef). 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!



Make a bank tranfer to UBI Banca account – IBAN IT71Q0311123400000000000437 – BIC/SWIFT BLOPIT22 for Amici di Adwa onlus

Every year in Ethiopia, 1,700 women of childbearing age die from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth.

The average mortality rate of women in childbirth is estimated to be between 560 and 1,000 for every 100,000 live births. And more than 1 in 10 children die before turning 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 must 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 Help 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. The agreement with government authorities was signed.

A group of doctors from Padua from the A.S.P.O.S. association provides technical consulting and side by side training. On-site from 2008 to today, they have been able to verify the current conditions and give medical aid to the Adwa population.

Groups of ophthalmologists have also given significant contributions, first with the MAIS PLUS non-profit association, then with AMOA.

The Sisters of St. Joseph B. Cottolengo will collaborate to manage the hospital and are contributing greatly to planning. Two sisters have already been working in the infirmary in Adwa since autumn 2014.

The Ethiopian Catholic University will send its students to do their fellowships in the future hospital in Adwa.


vista ospedale adwa maggio 2019

The structure was erected on a plot adjacent to the mission, made available by the Adwa city administration. It will include a series of units able to meet the health care needs of the citizens: Obstetrics & Gynaecology; Medicine; Surgery; Paediatrics; including an operating theatre.

In addition, there are plans to build an outpatient clinic, with an A&E, plaster room, orthodontics, radiology, testing laboratory, ophthalmology, physiatrics.



The hospital “Step 1” building was inaugurated on 21 January 2013. This building is the training and welcome centre for medical personnel.

Read the article and see the pictures


Our association raised about €1,200,000 for the Hospital project between 2008 and 2012. This was made possible thanks to all the donors, big and small, the fund-raising volunteers, and the Cariplo and Symphasis foundations.

It cost €1,100,000 to build the hostel, which was completely covered by the funds we raised.


Work to complete the complex is underway. The project has a very important sponsorship from CEI (Italian Bishops’ Conference).

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

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

Currently, the unfinished structure has been completed. Doors and windows have been installed in the Maternity ward. Works are in progress on plant design and siding, taking 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, the users are not used to using toilets…) and the chronic lack of materials, semifinished products and technicians.

There is certainly still much to be done, especially to equip the wards and train the staff: this is why we keep asking you for your support and to help us by involving new friends.

STARTING MEDICAL WORK – by the health care volunteers from
The development plan regarding the building, equipment, and personnel was recently reviewed and shared, with an initial quick execution step, another follow-up step and a final step.

The first step involves transferring everything that is currently done in the temporary facility into the new building, moving whatever material is already there and integrating it with minimal yet essential equipment to raise the quality level:

• A radiological device

• Two laboratory devices to examine thyroid function and run blood tests

An internist, an anaesthetist, a surgeon and a laboratory technician have already given their availability to begin the work on daily basis; others have offered to continue. Already at this step, scheduled specialist operations (Surgery, Gynaecology, ENT, Urology, etc.) will be possible, thanks to there being beds available for patients that must be hospitalised.

This step have been completed in the first months of 2019. Sister Laura has already obtained the federal accredit for this initial Day Hospital and Day Surgery facility (“Health Center”).

The second step will definitively instate radiology, sterilisation, operating theatres, post-operative ICU, kitchen, laundry room.

The third step will develop based on the availability of personnel and means.

HEALTH CARE WORKERS who are available to volunteer or apply as permanent staff can send their CV to the secretary of our association, including the type of availability they can offer.