In the past year, we have received tragic news from Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan about deadly attacks on humanitarian workers. People who have dedicated their lives to helping others have paid the ultimate price themselves. Just across our eastern border, workers and volunteers providing assistance to Ukrainians who remain in the country are constantly exposed to attacks. The humanitarian need rate has skyrocketed over the past year, with 360 million people currently in need, according to UN data, 30% more than a year ago. The most serious shortage is food – more than 260 million people face severe food insecurity, some of whom are at risk of starvation.
Malnutrition, especially among the youngest, has a multidimensional impact on the child's health. Its effects are diseases such as anemia or rickets, it also causes. It also slows down physical and mental development, leads to apathy. That is why it is so important for us to support the youngest around the world - says Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart from the Polish Medical Mission.
In Ethiopia, we are launching a project
to improve the quality of neonatal care and medical assistance for children up to 5 years of age. The country has a physician-to-patient ratio of 1:50,000 and a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:5,000, the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The diverse geography of the Horn of Africa and the difficulty of walking between home and hospital pose a threat to the youngest patients. The situation in the health service was not improved by the two-year civil war, which in 2022 resulted in more deaths than in the war in Ukraine. Therefore, the Polish Medical Mission in Ethiopia covers the costs of hospital treatment of premature infants and children with malnutrition and provides food to carers of children admitted to the hospital. It will also equip the neonatal ward of the hospital in Waliso with the necessary life-saving equipment.
Ethiopia has had remarkable success in reducing infant and maternal mortality in recent decades, but remains one of the six countries with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Many of them could be avoided with trained staff, but despite government efforts, 79% of births still take place at home, adds Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart.
Another project that we are currently starting are mobile clinics
that will reach the most needy patients in the Kharkiv region in Ukraine. With millions of people in need before them, humanitarian organizations stand shoulder to shoulder to reach where it is needed together. Regardless of the distance, the causes of problems and difficulties encountered on the road.