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.

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.

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

 

Meeting Ephrem in Norwich

Blog post written by Revd Canon Nick Garrard, one of the HE Trustees

(as published in the Yarmouth Mercury)

Recently I had a fascinating lunch at Norwich Cathedral. The jacket potato was good but the company made it really special. The special guest was Ephrem Abathun, Director of Hospice Ethiopia

Ethiopia has a population of 100 million people, but only one hospice. Hospice Ethiopia operates out of a rented office in the capital, Addis Ababa. It has no inpatient unit (there are no hospice beds anywhere in Ethiopia), but a trained, dedicated team of nurses and a volunteer doctor take palliative care to patients in their homes. They also provide small grants for food for patients and their families who cannot support themselves. A couple of years ago, Norwich Diocese sponsored a second car, which enabled Hospice Ethiopia to double its caseload. They also train medical staff in pain relief, aiming to make the country’s hospitals ‘pain-free’.

Ephrem came on a whirlwind tour of England to learn more about our care methods and to talk about his hospice’s work. I was struck by Ephrem’s warmth, passion, and eagerness to learn. He was particularly interested in how we provide spiritual care for terminally ill patients, especially through the work of chaplains like my wife Helen, who is chaplain at Priscilla Bacon Lodge. Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries but also the most religious. Two thirds Christian and one third Muslim: 99% of its people said that faith was important to them, compared with only 30% in the UK. Engaging with patients’ faith would help them make their spiritual journey to the end of this life and beyond. Ephrem wants the support that dying people and their families receive to be spiritual as well as physical and psychological.

Ephrem’s vision is to create a centre of excellence in Addis Ababa, where medical professionals can see palliative patient care in practice, to learn new techniques of symptom control and pain relief, and above all, to meet the needs of the ‘whole’ person. In a country where hard-pressed medical services concentrate on treating curable diseases, Ephrem’s hospice is a small voice crying out. But big things come from small beginnings, and change can come quickly. I told Ephrem about my great-grandmother. In the 1900s, she helped my great-grandfather run a pub in a poor area in Norwich. Without any training, she nursed cancer patients and performed operations next to the kitchen fire. Their pub was in sight of the hospital, but no one could afford its services. So much has changed here since. So much can change in Ethiopia too. As Christians we hope for things as yet unseen and, as St Paul tells us, hope does not disappoint us.

 

1960s Burger & Boogie evening

1960s evening

What a swell party that was… and we raised over £5000 for Hospice Ethiopia!

Many thanks to everyone who came to the ‘Burger & Boogie 60s-style’ night for Hospice Ethiopia on June 15th.  Now that the dust has settled we can reveal that the event raised over £5,000, which is a fabulous effort and testament to the generosity of all those who support us.  Included in that are several kind donations from people who couldn’t attend the party itself, but wanted to help with the fund raising. 

Special thanks also to everyone who helped, especially Lord and Lady Dannatt, who generously gave us the use of their beautiful home, and all the donors for the raffle and auction of promises.  So many people gave freely of their time, including all our wonderful volunteers, our brilliant DJ Dan, and of course our demon auctioneer Dave Robinson. 

Words can’t express how grateful we are to you all.  As you know, the money will go to fund the wonderful work our friends at Hospice Ethiopia are carrying out.  Your generosity will make a huge difference to desperate people. 

Thank you. 

 

Upcoming event

1960’s style

Burger ‘n’ Boogie

Saturday 15th June 2019

At

The Mill House, Keswick, Norwich

By kind permission of Lord & Lady Dannatt

in aid of Hospice Ethiopia

2 course meal + dancing+ auction of promises+ raffle from 7pm

Tickets: £35

(£30 early bird bookings before May 1st)

Tickets from: Clare Glenn 01263 734853 or Eventbrite

Successful fundraising in November & December 2018

We had a number of successful events to round off 2018; in particular the Big Give, which ran from 27th November to 4th December. We had hoped to raise £8,000 which meant we needed our donors to give £4,000 which would then be matched to raise £8,000. In fact, our donors gave £5,007 (£4,000 of which was doubled) and with Gift Aid the total raised was over £10,000. A fantastic result, which we could not have achieved without so many of our donors taking part.

Other events included Mary Lamb’s Open House event in December, which raised over £2,477, and the Bridge event at the Bishop’s Palace in Norwich, which raised over £1,450.
Below is our Hospice Ethiopia tree, at the St Michael’s Church Christmas Tree Festival in Aylsham:
Xmas tree
Many thanks for all your support in 2018 and wishing everyone all the best for 2019!

Aylsham Rotary club donation

Aylsham Rotary club has raised an amazing £3000 to pay for Yohanna, a nurse at Hospice Ethiopia, to go to Hospice Africa Uganda in Kampala to study for her diploma in Palliative care.

Yohanna has said the following about this fantastic opportunity:

“My role as a palliative care nurse is to take greater responsibility for patient care and to become a specialist in areas such as pain management, symptom management and psychosocial support. In studying this diploma course in palliative care nursing, I hope that l will be able to make the most of these opportunities as my career develops. I anticipate that this diploma course in palliative care nursing will be the beginning of my lifelong career that will really make a difference in Hospice Ethiopia.”

Sue and Jamie attended a Rotary Club dinner in Aylsham at the Old Forge where Sue was able to update the members and guests about Hospice Ethiopia.

mum rotary talk

 

 

Sharing Experience of Global Palliative Care conference

Sue and Jamie attended a fascinating one day conference in Oxford on the 23rd September, organised by Palliative Care Works, another UK registered charity that HE UK works closely with. Two of the delegates who gave presentations had been taught by Sue and Jamie in Addis Ababa in March. Sister Emebet & Dr Aklilu have received bursaries from St Christopher’s hospice to attend their 5 day international palliative care course. Sister Emebet and Dr Aklilu gave a wonderful presentation about Ethiopia and their role in promoting palliative care in their country. bd848f98-38a6-4cd4-9677-fc38e1881715