Her name is Liya Abera Haile. A dedicated woman who impressed everyone in our team. You are probably wondering what her story is?! She was born in Alamata, studied in Mekelle Universtiy and now working in a small city called Bala which is about 25km from a city called Alamata (650 km from Addis Ababa). She was a nurse working in Alamata before joining the AHOTP (Accelerated Health Officer Program). Now she is working as heath officer in this small city ; Bala as the head and director of the health center which has four health posts under the same health center. Her families and friends live hundreds of kilometers far from her but still dedicated to stay there in uncomfortable situation as a girl growing up in a bigger city. I know that this requires lots of commitment because being in the Health Profession my self as a Health Officer any one from different bigger cities in Ethiopia wants to stay in cities with a better paid NGO job even if we all promise on our graduation to serve our people knowing where the major problems are existing when it comes to health care.
The people living there tells that bala was known as a killer city because people get sick a lot and die before she begun working there. So people traveling past that city were not recommended to spend a night there at all because of the death and the disease situation there and also mainly known for malaria and communicable diseases. People of the village tells that so many things has changed since this woman came to that village. In my discussion over coffee with W/ro Tsega, a woman from the association of the ladies in that village being assigned as manager of the health education team told me that ‘’ there was even no toilet for the people but the commitment of this woman to saving people was amazing. The people love her so much that they said letting her go is like deciding on their death.
She convinced & gathered people of the village to work on issues like this together to construct simple toilets, supplying mosquito nets, HIV testing, health education and etc’’ I leave the the relation judgment between living situations with no toilet and possible health condition in a certain population plus achieving all these in just two years and 8 months as a single person with such facility deserves a reward. And, you might not see much from pictures and reading as much as going there and seeing all for your self but to give you simple highlight of Bala and the Bala Bealth Center take a look at the pictures at the bottom.
Basically ,what this health center focuses on prevention of diseases mostly on those which are pretty common in that area like malaria, oro fecal disease etc. And also focuses on minimizing woman and child death as well as woman health including contraception methods antenatal visits plus vaccination, etc. The health center is also working on raising HIV awareness and including home based health education, counseling and testing. They initiate people to know, accept and expose themselves plus teach others in the community. It is impressive how much change you see from the statics she had the health center posted on the walls. I am sure , if you go there as well, you would go back home very impressed with what she is doing for people of Bala.