Eritrea: Joint Working Visit to the Southern Region Health Facilities By MoH, WHO and UNFPA

press release

The Honorable Minister of Health of the state of Eritrea, Mrs Amina Nurhussein extended invitation to WHO Representative to Eritrea, Dr Martins Ovberedjo and UNFPA Representative to Eritrea, Ms. Marielle Sander to visit identified health facilities in the southern region health facilities' of Eritrea on Friday 6 September 2019.

The visiting team was also accompanied by Dr Berhana Haile, Director of family planning and community health division at MOH, Mrs. Selam Berhane, Communications Officer at WHO and Mrs. Yordanos Mehari, Assistant Representative at UNFPA.

The purpose of visit was to familiarize with the Health facilities' operations and also to identify areas of future cooperation with MOH, UNFPA and WHO.

Health facilities sites visited included:

At Dubarwa Health Center, the team visited maternity ward and was briefed on the progress in the maternity waiting home which is now in a better position however head of the health center, Mr Gebrehiwot Arefayne, has requested to increase in the number of midwives which necessitated the increase in the number of patients.

Similarly, the team toured the fistula and neonatal wards at Mendefera Referral Hospital. Dr Amanuel Mehreteab, Zonal Medical Director briefed the team on successes achieved by the fistula center including social rehabilitation successes recorded. The Hospital currently provides community outreach and referral services to over one million population.

At Adi-Quala Community Hospital, the visiting team under took a guided tour of the maternity part, delivery unit and the post neonatal wing. Dr Sirak Debas, the Medical Director shared updates on services delivery achievements, including plan to build a separate surgery room to address growing patient load.

The team also visited Enda-Gergis Health Station located close to Ethiopia border; and toured the maternity waiting home and observed excellent services been provided to the population. Mr Tewelde Andegergis, Head of the Health Station emphasized that they are working to consistently meet and manage patient needs following the recent peace accord.

Finally, the team visited Dekemhare Community Hospital, touring the operating theatre, neonatal unit; and noted the facility was very clean and organized. Dr Bernando Bahta, Medical Director requested for anesthesia machine with accessories, delivery bed and operating theatre and additional ambulance to cope with the growing demand of the services.

Over all observations were made that the health facilities were very clean and well organized with highly committed and hardworking health workers and strong government leadership. In order to maintain the existing achievements and to intensify interventions, Dr Samsom Abay, pediatrician said "The services need not be resource intensive or require high- tech or sophisticated machines to improve pediatrics care in Eritrea, where most and easily managed by establishing basic neonatal and pediatric intensive care units equipped with staff who are upgraded with timely and regular training in handling and caring for the critically ill children."

Recommendations were made for the procurement of the following items: anesthesia machine with accessories, Operation table for major surgery, operation lights for major surgery, ultrasound machine electrical-portable, and oxygen cylinders with regulators and ambulances.

Generally, the team commended the health workers for their demonstrated commitment and hard work; noting need for action on the part of MOH to procure identified equipment and service inputs requested by the facilities. On their part, WHO as well as UNFPA assured the ministry of their continuous support.

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