Professional medical care for mothers and newborns in Barentu

Access to health care, especially for pregnant mothers and ill newborns, is a particular challenge for many people living in poverty. The hospital in Barentu, the capital of the southwestern Eritrean province of Gash Berka, was ill-equipped to provide accessible, affordable quality healthcare services for the 800,000 people living in the region. This also contributed to the high maternal and infant mortality rate.

Timeframe

Since 2012

Pillar

Health

Project Community

Mothers and babies in the region around Barentu (pop. 800,000)

Project area

Project Goal

The hospital in Barentu will have proper equipment and trained staff for neonatal and perinatal health care. Pregnant women and their families build trust in the services the hospital provides.

Project details

Eritrea has a high maternal and infant mortality rate and only an estimated 0.5 doctors for 1,000 inhabitants. In 2006, the World Bank built a hospital in Barentu which is the only health facility in a region home to around 800,000 people. However, the hospital’s maternity ward and newborn unit had only basic equipment.

Regarding hospital infrastructure and services, technicians from the Charité Hospital in Berlin and the Barentu Hospital have installed solar panels to ensure an electricity supply whenever there are power cuts.

As information about the high standards of health care provided at the clinic has spread, locals are increasingly coming to the hospital, showing their growing trust in its services.

Our partner, the German association Archemed, set up a partnership between the Barentu Hospital and the Charité Hospital in Berlin. Since 2011, specialized doctors, paediatricians, nurses, midwives, obstetricians and technicians travel twice a year to Barentu. Together with their Eritrean counterparts, they work on improving the health services provided to mothers and children. This involves preparing the treatment rooms, providing specialized equipment and training staff to use it, as well as training the local technicians to maintain and repair it. Staff from the Charité Hospital advise the local healthcare staff and support them when treating acute cases.

Results

Suyana has supported this project since 2012. In 2020 and 2021, no medical missions to Eritrea were possible because of the Covid-19 pandemic; therefore, Archemed organised the shipment of a container full of equipment and supplies at the end of 2020, but no containers could be shipped in 2021. Nevertheless, we are committed to continue the support of this vital healthcare project with our partner Archemed.

Together we make it happen

For more information get in touch with:

chiara.borner@suyana.ch
+41 41 710 82 18

Chiara Borner
Chiara Borner

Projects International

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