Covid-19 in Ethiopia

The first known case of covid-19 in Ethiopia was on 13th February 2020. In April the number of cases began to rise and the government declared a state of emergency to curb its spread. The severe new restrictions included a ban of more than 4 people meeting, an introduction of 2 metre social distancing, a 50% reduction of passengers on public transport, the closure of schools & universities and only cargo & essential goods were allowed to cross the border.

The restrictions have made life in Ethiopia difficult with long queues to get to work or no work at all. If you have no work, you have no income and starvation becomes a bigger threat than Covid-19. Fortunately there have been far fewer cases than the initial estimates by the WHO. Despite very limited medial resources there have only been 1,141 deaths and 71,083 cases in an estimated population of 110 million (23rd September).  Several reasons have been suggested for the lower numbers including, a younger population, the quick response from the government, less widespread travel and previous partial immunity conferred by other endemic infections.

Hospice Ethiopia Stall at Mannington Hall in September

Hospice Ethiopia UK has continued to support Hospice Ethiopia during the pandemic with financial support, assisting with the procurement of PPE and advice about adjusting the day to day running of the hospice. The day unit has been closed and these patients are now supported by phone. Our fundraising has been severely curtailed this year by the pandemic but we were delighted to raise £439 at the Mannington Hall Charities day on September 6th. We’re also very grateful to donors who have set up a standing order, which ensures regular funds for Hospice Ethiopia. If you would like to help Hospice Ethiopia in this way, please email info@hospiceethiopia.org.uk

Our fundraising is used to care for people like Maaza (not her real name) in Addis Ababa. She was a 30 year old lady with cancer of her lower jaw. Following surgery, the wound became infected so it didn’t heal. Her face became distorted by the mass which did not respond to chemotherapy. By the time the Hospice Ethiopia nurses met her, she hadn’t had a proper might’s sleep for 3 months. The pain & distress were overwhelming. The nurse reported Maaza “felt sad, hopeless and unworthy”.

The nurses visited her frequently at home; they provided medicines & dressings to control the pain & infection. They also gave her information about her illness as she previously had no understanding about it.

Although her illness could not be cured, her quality of life was greatly improved and she and her husband were able to sleep at night. Two months later, Maaza died peacefully at home with her family, free from pain & distress.

HE Haircut challenge!

We’re joining the national 2.6 challenge to help charities who have cancelled events in light of the UK Coronavirus lockdown.

Hospice Ethiopia UK is coordinating a hair cutting (and potentially hair raising…) challenge with 26 brave volunteers allowing their lockdown comrades to cut their hair. We’ve been kind enough to not specify the required haircut, but [spoiler alert] Jamie Mumford, trustee, has agreed to shave his beard for the first time in 35 years!

Please donate generously, as the Coronavirus is likely to hit Ethiopia very hard. We’ll be coming back with photographic evidence and updates as the locks come off on Sunday 26th April!

This is the link to donate:

Donate to HE Haircut Challenge

Annual meeting and presentation

The Hospice Ethiopia annual meeting will be held on Thursday 5th March 6pm at the Priscilla Bacon Centre for Specialist Palliative Care in Norwich.

Please come and hear the amazing support we have had over the last year and the developments and plans for the next 12 months.

Hospice Ethiopia UK’s annual meeting will be followed by refreshments and an illustrated talk by Sue and Marion about their recent visit to Ethiopia in February 2020.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Patient story

K is a 65-year old married man with liver cancer. When the nurse first saw him, he was suffering from severe back pain, anxiety and a debilitating insect-biting type pain in his legs which meant he slept badly. The nurses prescribed pain killers, explained what was happening to him and he is now sleeping much better. He said “I would like you to come and see me again. I know you have many patients to care for and many responsibilities, but I would like to see you as often as possible. When I meet with you, I feel at ease and get relief from my pain & sickness.” Patient

Feedback such as this shows how the care Hospice Ethiopia provides makes such a difference to the lives of their patients. It’s easy to forget how even basic care such as the provision of pain killers, something we take for granted in the UK, is not available to the vast majority of terminal cases in Ethiopia.

patient K.png

Recent fundraising successes

During the build-up to Christmas we’ve had several very successful fundraising events including a talk by Sue & Jamie at Ranworth Church, bag packing at Tesco’s in Aylsham, St Michael’s Christmas Tree festival and Carols in Aldborough Community Centre. These events have raised just under £900 in total. Very many thanks to all those who supported Hospice Ethiopia at these events.


For the second year running Hospice Ethiopia UK was accepted to take part in The Big Give Christmas challenge. We are delighted that we received 42 donations, which with the matching funds and gift aid totalled the fantastic sum of £10,425. This will pay the nurses’ salaries at Hospice Ethiopia for 6 months. We could not have raised such a phenomenal amount without our supporters’ generosity; we are truly grateful.


Following a talk to Holt Rotary club in October, we are very grateful to Maureen Ford for talking to a Rep from Welland who has supplied over 500 colostomy bags for the patients of Hospice Ethiopia who have a stoma. Colostomy bags are not available at all in Ethiopia, so this donation will really transform the lives of patients. Sue will deliver some of these to hospice Ethiopia when she visits in February.

Below is the lovely and festive HE Christmas tree at St Michael’s Church in December:

xmas tree

 

The Big Give 2019

Many of you have generously made donations in the past that have helped provide crucial care for patients. We’re very excited to let you know that Hospice Ethiopia UK has been selected again this year to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019, the UK’s largest match funding campaign.

We will be raising money specifically to pay for the nurses’ salaries at Hospice Ethiopia for six months. These nurses provide vital care and symptom control in people’s homes for those dying from cancer and other terminal illnesses. They are often their only point of contact, bringing relief to truly desperate people.

Donations to this project will be matched for 7 days, from 12pm on Tuesday 3rd December. So, every pound donated during that period means two pounds for Hospice Ethiopia.

How do I donate?

If you would like to support our work this year, we highly recommend doing so during the Christmas Challenge when your donation will make even more of a difference to Hospice Ethiopia.

After 12 noon on the 3rd December, please visit our page at the biggive.org and follow the instructions. Please note that donations made via other means will not be matched so it’s really important to go through the ‘big give’ website.

Please note if you visit before this date/time you will be unable to donate. Instructions on how to donate will be added on the 3rd December.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at info@hospiceethiopia.org.uk

Many thanks in advance for your support.

TBG Logo Horisonal Black Challenge@2x