Amref Health Africa in Ethiopia has been running a clinical outreach programme since 2006 to provide specialist health care to patients in rural parts of the country who would otherwise not be able to access the services.
During a recent mission to the Debre Markos Hospital located in the Amhara regional state, 300kms from Addis Ababa in the outreach team met Bizuayehu Tarekegn, 20, who had a huge mass protruding from her back. She had kept the mass a secret for a long time, fearing the reaction of neighbours.
Bizuayehu had quit school in eighth grade for fear of being discriminated by other children. Though the mass was hidden under clothes, she preferred to isolate herself from relatives and friends. Bizuayehu even decided not to get married because of the abnormality.
One day, during a visit to Debre Markos Hospital, Bizuayehu learnt an Amref Health Africa outreach camp that was planned for March 10 -14. She came back to the hospital during that week, and was delighted to be selected for surgical treatment from the team of specialists that had been mobilised by Amref Health Africa from hospitals in Addis Ababa.
The huge mass was removed from her back and at long last, Bizuayehu was relieved of a heavy phsycological and physical burden.
“I have suffered a lot carrying that huge mass around and trying to hide it. I thank the Amref Health Africa and the Debre Markos Hospital for making this possible. If it was not for them, I would not have been able to afford this surgery.”
I have suffered a lot carrying that huge mass around and trying to hide it. I thank the Amref Health Africa and the Debre Markos Hospital for making this possible. If it was not for them, I would not have been able to afford this surgery.
Bizuayehu promised to tell others about the outreach service offered by Amref Health Africa and to encourage others in her community to seek treatment early whenever they had a problem.