By Selam Kahsay | May 27, 2022
At the Samaritan Health and Education Support Center in Ethiopia, we were excited when a team of doctors working at Awo Doctor Group reached out to us to volunteer. We immediately said yes and began reaching out to family members of our scholars to begin preparing the logistics.
When the day finally arrived, a line was already forming starting from the early hours of the morning in anticipation of the arrival of the doctors. There were mothers with children on their backs, and elderly and disabled people in line waiting. When the doctors came out of their bus, clad in their white gowns, one could see excitement and respect on the faces of the queued crowd. The doctors set up their individual stations, all 21 of them, and started examining people one by one.
For most doctors, the choice of being a doctor has been fueled by the desire to make a difference in the community. And on 22 May 2022, they witnessed their desire coming to life. They extensively examined each individual one by one, diagnosed and treated several infections, and provided health education, support, and advice. The doctors found and helped several critical cases requiring emergency care, including cases of malignantly high blood pressure and sugar levels and even those with drastically low oxygen saturation levels. These people were emergently referred to a nearby health center. They also found two women with early signs of cervical cancer, who we sent to a nearby health center for further tests and urgent preemptive treatment. They saw so many people who, had they not been given medical attention at the time, would evolve to develop several devastating illnesses. I can dare to say that this team of noble doctors saved several lives. In total, more than 170 people received medical care on that day.
Each medical doctor was kissed on the hands and showered with blessings from the elders who got the service. This was a reward beyond anything else. One of the volunteers, Dr. Sosina Abebaw said that she was once more reminded of why she got into the field of medicine. This right there was what it was all about.
Several of the people they examined required further investigations and additional treatment. They wrote each person’s medical information, along with the investigation and prescriptions, and supplied it to the Samaritan Health Center. The International Samaritan team gave them a tour of the whole center, at the end of which each and every doctor vowed to volunteer there. God was clearly at work in the Samaritan Health Center, and all of us felt His presence. And with that, the day ended with warm and grateful hearts- from the doctors, from us, the Samaritan team, and from the people that received care.
Health & Wellness Specialist
Selam is a public health expert who is passionate about working with vulnerable communities, especially adolescents and young mothers. She also leads youth leadership training for families in International Samaritan’s scholarship program in Ethiopia. Selam has worked as a consultant for non-profits based in the UK, Ethiopia, and the USA.