My name is Angela Lee. I am a medical doctor with previous training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
From May 16, 2012 I will be living and working in Ethiopia as a Cuso International volunteer helping with long-term development in their maternal and newborn healthcare services. For the next year, I am placed at Bahir Dar, a city on the highlands in northwestern Ethiopia. I will be working at the local Felege Hiwot Hospital as a Program Co-coordinator for their comprehensive emergency obstetrics program. My role is to teach and train the midwives and birth attendants.
You may want to ask, “Why volunteer in Ethiopia?”
The answer is simple. Ethiopia has one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. It is 100 times higher than the UK or US. Many Ethiopian women die each year from pregnancy and childbirth. Many more suffer from long term complications and disabilities such as drop foot or urinary incontinence. The newborn babies may be born unhealthy suffering from prematurity , low birth weight, brain injury and many more problems. All these tragedy are due to women delivering babies at home absolutely without the care of any skilled birth attendants. The country desperately needs volunteers while new local health workers are being trained to fill in the shortage of trained medical personnel in the maternal health field. I would like to make a small contribution using my skills and knowledge to train their midwives and birth attendants so as to make a difference in the situation. Hopefully, in the long run this can help to improve their maternal and newborn healthcare.
Through this blog, I would like to share some of my work and experiences in Ethiopia.