IntraHealth International

Our commitment: IntraHealth is a global champion for health workers. We have pledged to double our impact between 2011 and 2015 to ensure that more health workers are present, ready, connected, and safe. Mission: IntraHealth empowers health workers to better serve communities in need around the world. We foster local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology, and leveraging partnerships. ...
Jul 3, 2013

The Challenges Nursing Students Face

Dear Friends of IntraHealth International,

We are happy to share with you the latest update from our nursing scholars at ALKAN Health University in Dessi, Ethiopia.  They are wrapping up their first year as students, and have reflected on the joys and challenges of being a nursing student in Ethiopia.   

We invite you to follow their journey during their time at school with us through our quarterly reports.  Here, you can read more about what each student has particularly enjoyed about their first year training to be a nurse and what some of the greatest challenges have been. 

Almaz has particularly enjoyed helping her patients and takes great pride that her work will reduce health risks caused by the lack of healthcare professionals in her area.  She enjoys the profession, and finds the challenges to be more financial than academic.  Her parents are unable to send her money and rent, school supplies and the cost of transportation all provide a constant challenge for her.   

Fatuma, like Almaz, appreciates her training because of the future impact it has.  She says “I like studying nursing, because I observed that there are people who are suffering from lack of health professionals and health infrastructure in my local area. I have a dream to help those people with my profession together with God.”  And, like her colleague, finds her biggest challenges to be economic.  Fatuma’s parents are farmers in the Afar region of Ethiopia, an area hit particularly hard by the droughts this year, and they are no longer able to send what little money they previously were able to provide.    

Eyerus is a new recipient of the nursing scholarship, as one of the other students had to leave the program due to personal problems.  She finds the program to be rewarding and plans to continue her studies even after she has completed the nursing program to eventually become a doctor.  Eyerus’s parents live in the Afar region as well, and she faces similar economic challenges.  She currently lives with relatives and finds it difficult to have a quiet place to study!

Hawa too, sees the suffering in her home region because there are too few healthcare providers.  She says “I observed people suffering from lack of these professionals. Hence I need to be part of this profession to help those people”.   Hawa’s biggest challenge is the high cost of transportation so she can get to school.  The taxi prices are too high, and therefor she often times must walk to school.  

Haymont says she enjoys studying nursing because she enjoys providing a service for her community and country as a health care professional.  She too, faces the same economic challenges of her colleagues and lives with relatives to be closer to the university in order to be able to attend the school.   She has difficulty finding a quiet place to study in her relatives house.

Tsehay finds joy in both the act of helping people, and the act of learning the science behind the medicine.  She says “I observed that people in my locality even in my family there is no any idea about the scientific medication. Hence I like to be part of the health professionals to help those people and to give awareness on the importance of the scientific medicates, however, the cultural medication is also effective but with its disadvantage”.  Tsehay’s challenges are balancing school, work and economic hardship.  Her father passed away and her mother lives in the rural area of Ambasel wereda, unable to provide any additional financial support.   Tsehay lives with a woman in exchange for performing housework, but still cannot afford transportation to school and has to walk a long distance to ALKAN.

All of these students are grateful for the support of IntraHealth International, and its donors.  Without individuals like you championing for the frontline health workers, students like these would not be able to afford to train as nurses. 

Apr 4, 2013

The hopes and dreams of our nursing scholars

Alkan
Alkan's community nursing scholars

Greetings friends of IntraHealth and ALKAN Health University,

We are happy to report that our six community nursing scholars are deep in their first semester of studies. All six are currently taking the following courses:

  • Work effectively in Health Industry
  • Comply with Infection Control Policies and Procedures
  • Follow the Organization’s OHS policies
  • Handle Waste in a Health Care Environment
  • Perform General Cleaning Tasks in a Clinical Setting
  • Prepare and Manage Beds
  • Collect and Manage Linen Stock at User-Locations
  • Undertake Routine Inventory Maintenance
  • Civics
  • Entrepreneurship

We invite you to learn more about our community nursing scholars. Many thanks to Adamu Kassie for completing the interviews.*  Below, read about how they are reacting to the news of their scholarship, their expectations about the training, and what they hope to do once they become professional health workers:

Almaz B. is 19 from the Tenta woreda. Her father is daily laborer. Almaz was interested to continue her college education in the health sector because she observes a lot of people in her community suffer from easily curable diseases. Almaz said, “This opportunity has a remarkable place in my life. Starting from this day I am ready to be a hard working student and complete my education successfully.” As a community nurse, Almaz hopes “to serve her community with good ethics according to the profession.”

Fatuma M. is 20 and comes from the Albuko woreda. Fatuma’s parents are farmers. She understands that being a nurse can help save a lot of lives in rural areas. That is why she decided to become a nurse.  With the knowledge and skills that she will gain, Fatuma hopes “to serve my community based on what I have learned, and to help my parents economically.”

Tsehay A. was born 21 years ago in the Marye woreda. Her father passed away before she turned 10 years old. Supported only by her mother, Tsehay couldn’t continue her college education due to financial difficulties. But now with a scholarship, Tsehay said, “thanks to Intra Health International and ALKAN University College, I got the best opportunity in my life.” She hopes that she will be a good and professional nurse through hard work. Tsehay aspires to someday open her own personal clinic.

Haymanot A. was born in Afar Region, in the rural area near Asaita. She is 17 years old. She said there is a great shortage of health professionals in the Afar Region. For this reason, she decided to become a nurse. Once she becomes a professional health worker, she especially hopes to serve the mothers in her community. In addition, she will be providing economic support to her family.

Hawa I. is from the town of Semera in the Afar Region and is 21 years old. Hawa has always admired the nursing profession. Her dream was to become a nurse so that she could serve her people. Hawa said, “I am lucky to
get this opportunity and I will work very hard to successfully complete the [nursing] program.” She hopes to continue improving her education, knowledge and skills so that she may serve her community as a nurse.

Genet A. is 21. Her parents’ economical capacity is limited to cover her college cost. She said, “I was very happy when I saw the notice [for a scholarship opportunity] posted on the notice board. This opportunity has a special place in my life. Now it is time for me to work very hard.” she said. With the good knowledge and skills that she will acquire through her training, Genet seeks to serve her community and get involved in health-related community issues. 

We thank you for your continued support to championing frontline health workers through this project, and will continue to share news from Ethiopia.

* Nurse quotes are based on translations from Amharic to English.

Jan 3, 2013

Diamonds in the rough: Meet our nursing scholars

Diamonds in the rough: Meet our nursing scholars
Diamonds in the rough: Meet our nursing scholars

The Tenta woreda, or district, does not look far from the Alkan Health Science College campus in Dessie on a map. For a bird, the flight would not be more than 30 kilometers.

But Ethiopia is one of the most mountainous countries in the world. The precarious roads in Tenta's Amhara region twist and turn as plateaus give way to steep valleys. The route from Tenta to Dessie is over 125 miles and can take over one day using public transportation.

Mothers with sick children in Tenta do not want to travel on these roads in order to see health worker. They would rather see a well-trained nurse right in their own community.

This is why Almaz B. wants to become a community nurse. With a name that means "diamond" in Amharic, Almaz is from the Tenta woreda and heard about our scholarship opportunity on the local FM radio. After applying for the scholarship and then passing an entry exam, she was accepted to the 36-month diploma nursing program.

The same is true for the five other nurses who have been accepted to our community nursing scholarship program:  Fatuma M. from the Albuko woreda, Genet A. from the Yeju Genet woreda,  Hawa I. and Haymanot A. from the Afar region, and Tsehaynesh A. from the Marye woreda.

Rather than requiring families to climb those mountainous roads each time someone is ill, these women will take the trip to Dessie for their nursing training.  They have all committed to returning to their communities for at least 3 years after graduating. When they return to their respective woredas as diploma nurses, they will be considered the diamonds in their communities more than ever before. They will know the local dialects and practices to provide culturally competent care to prevent and treat basic diseases. The presence of these six nurses alone will increase their woreda's access to primary health care.

To our "diamonds in the rough", Almaz, Fatuma, Genet, Hawa, Haymanot, and Tshaynesh: We wish you luck as you embark on your  nursing studies!

Nursing scholar Fatuma
Nursing scholar Fatuma
Nursing scholar Genet
Nursing scholar Genet
Ethiopian highlands (c) B Allen
Ethiopian highlands (c) B Allen
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