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.
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Deputy Director, CapacityPlus