It’s amazing how many complains you would hear from the health care system and the service being given in hospitals in Ethiopia. Of course there is no question to how many people they/we are helping and saving lives but there is still so much more to be improved. One of those things is treating a patient as a human being and considering psychological health too. It’s like no patient has any right to know what his/her disease condition is, what the doctor’s/nurse’s plans are and possible expectations. Nobody is willing to explain about your disease and possible out comes at all sometimes. I believe all patients have the right to know. I can tell you so many stories like this from my experiences.

My relative was admitted in a hospital for Septicemia and the doctor ordered investigations and started certain treatments IV(Intravenous). His wife asked the doctor ” so what is wrong with my husband? Did you find something? What is the treatment for? What should we do? What shall we expect? ” and a whole lot of questions. One time his mum, another time his daughter goes to the doctor to ask wanting to know.  And the only reply they got was ” he is fine he just have infection we will just check his urine and blood.” And after the test results came he kept on telling his wife that he just has infection and it continued for a week with her wanting to know eagerly what kind of infection it was and wanting to know what possible things to expect and to do to help. So in the end no body knew for what kind of infection they were treating him till the last day of his death.

Amazingly most places, they do invasive procedures and tests like lumbar puncture, repairing intestinal perforation with out even informing any one in the family or the patient him/her self. In addition to this they don’t explain what they are going to do , advantages and disadvantages of the treatment they are giving, aim of the procedures, etc. It makes me sick knowing all these things being a health professional and not doing anything so far in preventing/stopping this other than trying to talk to those specific professionals on the spot. In most hospitals being a patient lying in bed sick and worried if you would make it or not nobody tells you about your situation. No one tells you as a patient why they are giving you a medicine and and what are the possible out comes and all.

There are so many days that i hear people saying ”i hope nobody gets sick here in Ethiopia since the health care system is horrible in many aspects”. I say,  at least let’s do what we could do with all our capacity in being a good health care provider than being ignorant on some essential things to our patients who is trusting us. Let’s give psychological comfort to the patient in involving them in their treatment too. After all the definition of health includes a complete physical, mental, and social well- being too right?


About ethiohealthcare

Ok this is me, Registered Nurse plus I'm also in Computer Science by profession and currently working on IT/eEducation at EiABC, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Ok and what's my intention of blogging - there are so many things i would like to say and i also think there are so many ideas we should exchange with each other towards the healthcare/health issues in our home country Ethiopia. Dear readers, i am not really a professional writer but i just put down what i feel like sharing with you all and i believe together we can learn from each other and improve things by dealing with it..... Enjoy!! View all posts by ethiohealthcare


  • Jorn

    I agree completely: although a lot is still missing, much more can be done with the resources at hand, by applying common sense and human sensibility (in ethiopia as well as in other countries).

    here a fiting ted-talk i watched yesterday, “a doctors touch”:

  • Elyas Mulu Kiros

    Hey! I like your blog!! You write very well and you touch on very important issues concerning Ethiopian Healthcare, which I wish there are more like you out there who challenge, recommend, and point out failures in such a creative way! Keep blogging!! 🙂

  • acherwa

    as always thank you for sharing your experience!!

    Patients’ rights in the context of healthcare is a topic that’s always a challenge for health professionals but one that should not be ignored.
    It comes down to the patient center care. Educating patients about their treatment and allowing them to make decision ( including refusing treatment ) is our responsibility and we ought to be held accountable.

  • ethiohealthcare

    Thank you acherwa, You are very right.

  • etsube

    your blog is an interesting one. thank you for raising this issue. i also agree with you. discussing every aspect of patient care with the patient him/herself is essential but the reality is no one asks the questions and really cares about the answers and sometimes it is difficult to discuss the details since you cant be sure the patient and the family understood what you are telling them. it is really kind of hard to explain the concept of septicemia for a rural farmer who did not even have basic education. in addition doctors are just intimidating: if you ask a question and you get a certain answer, you just dont ask again because somehow they will make you feel like it is your shortcoming that you didint understand. the solution for this is to train doctor on how to consult their patients in the language they could understand and teaching the pubic about health care rights. Basic education is also key.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: