Spring 2019: Adwa hospital is at a turning point

Spring 2019: Adwa hospital is at a turning point

Adwa hospital is at a turning point, offering medical services once again after almost two years. But we haven’t been sitting around during these two years, not at all! A lot of people have been working very hard to ensure we could start taking care of needy patients once again.

It would make sense to list them all, one by one, describing the work they have done to contribute to this top-quality facility. It would make sense to describe all the work involved in training local staff. It would make sense to list all the people who offered the necessary aid, both associations and individual benefactors.

But what really makes sense, and pays us back for all our efforts and our disappointments, is when we realise that, with everything these splendid people have offered us, we can now treat that child with maimed feet who has been waiting two years for an operation. We can treat that other child whose arm has been ruined by Volkmann’s syndrome due to the ineffectiveness of local “traditional medicine” in which a series of incisions is considered necessary to achieve an impossible cure. And we can now examine and treat the young man with early onset diabetes, testing the medications over and over again until we find the right balance for his treatment at home. We can give new hope to the young heart patient who can’t even climb the stairs without getting out of breath.

A little is enough: as soon as people hear that the eye doctor is coming through to move some material, and a girl shows up with an eye irremediably injured by fisticuffs. So many come here every day, with perfectly curable diseases, or just to obtain a hope of improvement; all of them pay us back with eyes full of gratitude.

And now that we have beds, and can keep patients we have operated on overnight, or patients we want to keep an eye on for a few days, we are seeing the happiness, the joy of sleeping in a comfortable bed or using a proper bathroom for the first time.

This is Adwa Hospital, a drop of water in a desert of need. But, as Albert Schweitzer said: “Your utmost attempts will be but a drop in the ocean compared with what needs to be done, but only this attitude will give meaning and value to your life”.

Many thanks for the translations to Joanne Roan