The people of Glasgow and beyond, through their generosity, have helped to fill our large shipping container with medical supplies to be shipped to our clinic in Buccama, Ethiopia.
Donations of medical items such as crutches, bandages and baby delivery kits as well as new shoes and toys have been collected to support the people of Buccama with devastating but easily treatable medical conditions such as a type of elephantiasis and uterine prolapse.
The lifesaving delivery is being made possible thanks to a partnership between EMP and two respected businesses; Clyde based marine engineering experts the Malin Group and international logistics company, Bertling Logistics. Both businesses have volunteered the resources needed to send the supplies many miles across land and sea to the gates of the Health Centre in Buccama.
The Malin Group will carry out the heavy lift operations involved in getting the container on and off the water, with Bertling safely and securely managing the rest of the journey. Rapid Export and Clyde Corrosion have also provided invaluable support through the wrapping and packing of the resources, and painting of the container, respectively.
Co-founder of EMP Maureen Burnett MBE, from Glasgow said:
“This delivery is going to have a massive impact and we are grateful to everyone in Glasgow and across Scotland for their time, energy and donations.
“We set up the charity Ethiopia Medical Project in 2013 after visiting a tiny clinic in rural Ethiopia. My cousin and fellow EMP Co-Founder Jo Middlemiss and I had a short volunteering trip to Buccama, but we were compelled to make a real difference for the long term when we saw the conditions.
“The clinic was struggling to cope without enough funding for medical resources and was inundated with women suffering from uterine prolapse and people disabled by a type of elephantiasis called podoconiosis. It is estimated that half of the world’s population of people who suffer from podoconiosis are in Ethiopia, approximately three million. Both conditions carry a social stigma, with sufferers reporting being ostracised from their families and communities. Yet both can be treated and, in many cases, reversed with simple treatments. In the last decade, donations from EMP have allowed the medical team at the clinic to treat thousands of patients, allowing them to return to their families and live free from pain and suffering. We are so pleased to be able to continue our efforts thanks to the kindness of the teams at Malin and Bertling.
“Life is particularly tough in Ethiopia just now. They are dealing with the pandemic, an ongoing
civil war, plagues of locusts devastating their crops and increasing numbers of attacks by hyenas on children. Like so many other charities, the pandemic affected our fundraising activities, but we have had a little miracle and I think that this exceptional sign of kindness from both organisations demonstrates the impact of what can happen when people come together!”
John Macsween, Managing Director of the Malin Group, said:
“When we were approached by the team at EMP, we knew that we had to help. We are delighted to provide expertise in the transportation of the cargo, and I am proud of our staff for coming forward to support this fantastic charity. It is also a great opportunity to work with one of our trusted clients, Bertling Logistics and build on our existing partnership – and demonstrate how the maritime industry can come together to have a positive impact. And we are so proud of our fellow Glaswegians who helped to fill it!”
Andy Lyall, Commercial Manager of Bertling Logistics in Aberdeen, stated:
“When our partner, Malin Group, informed us about Ethiopia Medical Project and the opportunity to help, we did not wait a minute and immediately started to look for available containers and shipping options to transport the donations without delay to Ethiopia. Everything is prepared for the shipment, and we are pleased to contribute to this important subject.”
The shipping container is leaving Glasgow in the coming days, filled with the medical equipment the men, women and children of Buccama desperately need as well as a few items which will bring a little joy and respite to some of the people suffering most in these incredibly difficult times.
Ethiopia Medical Project (EMP) is dedicated to supporting Buccama Health Centre in rural Ethiopia. The charity focuses on preventing, raising awareness and treating Podoconiosis and Uterine Prolapse.
Both these widespread conditions carry a social stigma with sufferers reporting being ostracised from their families and communities. Yet both conditions can be treated, and in many cases reversed, with some simple treatments.
A decade ago when the Health Centre was still a small clinic it was inundated with women suffering with severe Uterine Prolapse. Many women with the painful condition, often caused by carrying heavy loads or frequent pregnancies, reported living in shame and fear.
Since 2009, around 8,000 women have come forward and been treated by the Health Centre. Most women can be treated by the Nursing staff sharing healthcare knowledge and a £3 pessary ring with more severe cases requiring a relatively simple operation. In the last few year, the Centre has seen a downward trend in the number of cases. This drop is believed to be due to more awareness of the cause and treatments available, coupled with a new law requiring all babies to be born in a Clinic meaning mothers are supported during childbirth.
Half the world’s population of people who suffer from Podoconiosis, a non-contagious form of elephantiasis, live in southern Ethiopia, where the Buccama Health Centre is situated. This disfiguring condition, simply known ‘Podo’, causes massive swelling of the feet and lower limbs. Podo is caused when bare feet are exposed for prolonged periods to the country’s red clay soil. Through education, Podo can be prevented. It can be treated and many cases reversed using soap, water and shoes.
Many of Buccama’s local farming communities, who tend to work without shoes, are affected and the condition can become so debilitating that they are unable to work on the land. Hundreds of men and women arrive each week with varying stages of the condition. EMP’s aim is to eradicate Podo from this part of Ethiopia.
Buccama Health Clinic
In 2018 the Clinic expanded to become the Buccama Health Centre, which now has two wards and a laboratory as well as 22 members of staff including five qualified nurses.
Each year EMP commits to raise a minimum of £50,000 to cover the medical staff’s wages and medical supplies. EMP’s goal is to raise £5 million to enable the Centre to be self-sustaining into the future.
As with all charities, EMP is stepping up to the challenge of continuing to raise awareness and funds as the effects of the pandemic take hold even in these deeply rural parts of Ethiopia.
WHAT YOUR DONATION MEANS
Where we are
Buccama Health Centre is based in Southern Ethiopia.
Donations are always welcome, especially baby clothes and new socks and underwear.
Postage of a 2kg parcel cost approximately £14.
Please address donations direct to the Health Centre:
PO BOX 249
Buccama Health Centre