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Personal Appeals

Tikur Anbessa Hospital/TAH(Black Lion Hospital/BLH) is situated in Addis Ababa, it is the one, the only referral and specialized hospital in Ethiopia. As a medical student I have participated in different extracurricular activities and was able to participate in different international and national meetings representing my country. Being an intern has really exposed me to the real world other than papers. Interns get to see the sufferings of patients, we get to talk them, get to diagnose and treat our patients. Due to the amount of time we spend with them, I guess we/interns get attached to our patients than the residents and seniors. So we get to see, feel and experience their personal problems other than their sickness. Most of our patients come from rural areas to Tikur Anbesa /BLH and are from poor back ground. To get to Addis Ababa they need to sell their belongings or borrow money from their community to pay for public transport. Unfortunately, although they had tough journey to reach to the hospital, these deteriorated patients still have to wait in line with other thousands of patients hoping to get help. If they get through, the interns are the first one to see the patients: to take history, do physical examinations, have some differential diagnosis in mind and order laboratory/imaging tests/investigation to confirm the diagnosis and after those results are collected the residents will evaluate the patients and start the treatment.

Here is a story I wanted you to read:

Due to lack of medical equipments at TAH, for most test patients are sent to nearby privately owned laboratories and diagnostic centre and all patients pay high fee for simple tests eg:- 150 -200 Eth.birr for complete blood count. I won't forget this truth, one day a patient came to me accompanied by her brother. After routine check of her general health, I suggested to them that the patient needs an MRI test and informed them where to go. They agreed which made me so relieved. Then they asked me how the patient can get there and I said get a cab/taxi. They were not very happy about it because a cab costs them more than 100 birr. I was a bit confused and asked them if they know the amount they have to pay for MRI test and I told them what I know. Unexpectedly, they both started crying and her brother emptied his pocket and showed me all he had and that was less than 500 birr. Leave alone MRI test even Laboratory investigations cost more than what he had. On top of that they are expected to do lots of investigation to come to a diagnosis. TAH is lacking CT scan and MRI so such tests are done at private centre and costs Eth,birr 2000-3000. One can imagine how hard it is to ask a patient who doesn't have anything to eat, to pay for investigations that he can't afford. I can't explain the sadness I felt at that moment and I can't even imagine what they must have felt. It is really heartbreaking. I just couldn't describe the reality in Tikur Anbessa and the economic gap between our people. I don't mind if people are poor but healthy. These people don't have health, money, happiness but HOPE...hope that they will get better and go back to their town and reunite with their family, contribute something to their country, hope to be someone else, hope to change the world. Only HOPE!!!

So you can make a difference in the above patients life by donating to BCE to buy the vital life saving equipment for Tikur Anbessa Hospital.

About BCE

BCE is a charity committed to raising funds to buy life saving medical equipment for the Black Lion Hospital Cancer Centre in Ethiopia...


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