Higa Boarding School Library

Higa Boarding School Library before…

Higa Boarding School Library before…

…and after WEEMA International provided supplies and materials.

…and after WEEMA International provided supplies and materials.

Setting Students up for Success at Higa Boarding School

Higa Boarding School was opened in 2017 to improve the quality of education in Kembata-Tembaro Zone and to encourage students to complete secondary education. Since that time, they've staffed highly qualified teachers and recruited a student body of 164 high-achieving students who come from across Kembata-Tembaro, based on high scores on national eighth grade exams.

The only thing that was missing to set students up for success? Library materials! That's where WEEMA's support comes in.

WEEMA has provided desks, chairs, computers, laboratory equipment and reference materials to Higa Boarding School to ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed.

The Vice Principal said that ''WEEMA, as [the meaning of] its name suggests, made our school full through the support of school furniture, computers, laboratory equipment, reference books and technical support.''

To learn more about this work and receive regular updates, follow us on social media (FacebookInstagram and Twitter) and sign up for our newsletters.  

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WEEMA Sets Sights on Treating Over 1,000 Cataracts

Hosanna Hospital Eye Clinic team identified 1,053 candidates to receive cataract surgery during pre-screening in January

Hosanna Hospital Eye Clinic team identified 1,053 candidates to receive cataract surgery during pre-screening in January

Imagine waking up one morning, after years spent in darkness, knowing that this was the day you were going to see the face of your son, your daughter, or parents again.

WEEMA is making this dream a reality for hundreds of people in Hossana, Ethiopia. WEEMA's 5th Annual Cataract Campaign, in partnership with Himalayan Cataract Project, Hosanna Hospital, and Hadiya Ministry of Health, will perform over 1,000 surgeries over the course of a week, restoring sight and the everyday freedom that comes with clear vision. 

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and are treatable with surgery which replaces the clouded lens of the eye with an artificial one.

Hosanna Hospital Eye Clinic team pre-screened candidates and identified 1,053 individuals, from children to adults, who need cataract surgery- 56 of these patients are currently blind in both eyes. These surgeries make it possible for those living with cataracts to once again read, walk to the market, or cook meals without assistance.

To join us on this journey, follow us on Facebook & Instagram where we will be sharing daily updates from our 2019 Cataract Campaign!

Stakeholders discuss the 2018 Cataract Campaign's lessons learned and plans for the 2019 Cataract Campaign

Stakeholders discuss the 2018 Cataract Campaign's lessons learned and plans for the 2019 Cataract Campaign

Equipping & Training Healthcare Professionals

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Having the right tools at your disposal is critical, but knowing how to use them transforms the quality of healthcare that medical professionals can provide.

Twenty-two biomedical technicians, surgeons, midwives, nurses and laboratory technicians gathered around their instructor at Shinshicho Hospital for their first training session to learn about new equipment provided by a collaboration between WEEMA and the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC),  a US-based nonprofit organization specializing in providing medical equipment to advance standard of care in health facilities in low resource settings.

Over the course of ten days, this team of healthcare professionals will learn to assemble, maintain, and operate key equipment that will:

  • Enable safer C-sections and new major surgical services

  • Allow healthcare workers to complete in-house diagnostics instead of referring elsewhere

  • Fill gaps in neonatal intensive care (NICU) resources

  • Provide additional patient beds- although the hospitals had patient beds before, reportedly they were constantly moving between departments because of bed shortage

The medical devices, paired with knowledge of how to operate them, will save lives of women needing emergency C-sections, newborns requiring resuscitation and/or intensive care, patients in need of a laboratory diagnosis like diabetes or HIV/AIDs, and individuals needing minor and major surgery who will no longer have to travel far from home, up to 50 kilometers, throughout the KT Zone. 

Providing medical equipment and subsequent training is just one of the ways WEEMA is strengthening the healthcare system in the KT Zone!

To learn more about this work and receive regular updates, follow us on social media (FacebookInstagram and Twitter) and sign up for our newsletters.  

2019 WEEMA Board Retreat

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This past weekend, the WEEMA board and US staff met to review our work and plan for the future.  Much accomplished!

Highlights include:

  • Passing our 2019 budget with exciting investments in public library networks, market linkages for beekeepers and hospital improvement activities

  • Discussing our 2019-2021 strategic plan with stepped up focus on women and girls and people with disabilities

  • New messaging-- to be released soon-- that communicates WEEMA's vision and emphasizes our community partnerships and equity

  • Birthday cake surprise!

Looking forward to an exciting year!  

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WEEMA's Mobile Health Expands to New District

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WEEMA has expanded its mobile health program to the neighboring district of Hadero-Tunto - and is now reaching 35,000 children between this program and the one in Tembaro.  In Hadero-Tunto, WEEMA recently trained 20 community health workers - all women - to use their smartphones to provide evidence-based care to sick children.  Before the phones, it was difficult for these healthworkers to follow the paper-based guidelines, leading to frequent errors and misdiagnoses.  All of this has now changed.

Diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria remain the top causes of death for children under 5 years of age.  The phone-based program walks health workers through a checklist to optimize diagnosis and treatment of these childhood killers. Because of its simplicity and ease of use, community health workers report increased confidence in the care they are providing.  And we're seeing better outcomes, according to the mothers.  Parents are telling us they see results, and because of this, they are now more likely to bring their kids to health facilities -- the first step to treating disease in children!

Check out the data dashboard below.

To learn more about this work and receive regular updates, follow us on social media (FacebookInstagram and Twitter) and sign up for our newsletters.  

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