Food Crisis Hits Horn of Africa

by Mercy Corps
Sep 16, 2013

Ethiopia - Saving Lives and Improving Healthcare for the Long term

Baby Hawa Mumin held by her aunt Nima Hassan
Baby Hawa Mumin held by her aunt Nima Hassan

Part of Mercy Corps’ strategy is to ensure that all programs have long-term community impact. In Ethiopia, for example, we coordinate our integrated health and nutrition activities with the government ministries that deal with emergencies and health. This cooperation goes beyond just coordinating with the government; our mobile health teams each incorporate government staff to teach them practical skills for treating malnutrition in infants and mothers in remote areas of the region. Our goal is to ensure that government health facilities integrate the services provided by the mobile team into their routine health services, so that even when outside funding is no longer available, the benefits to communities will continue.

Through your support, we worked with Fardosa Aden (25 y.o.), a government health nurse at Afdam Woreda’s health and stabilization center. She completed her one month rotation with Mercy Corps’ mobile health team earlier this year and will be going back to work in the mother/child health unit at the clinic. She graduated in nursing in 2011 and has experience with midwifery, though she’d like to go back to school to complete a three-year degree. “I have always wanted to help people,” she says.

Because of you, Fardosa saved six month-old orphan Hawa Mumin taken to the center by her aunt Nima Hassan. Nima Hassan has four children of her own and is also taking care of baby Hawa’s seven other orphaned siblings. Hawa’s mother died in childbirth and her father passed away following a car accident.

A health post worker in Nima’s village Biki suggested she take the listless baby to the Mercy Corps’ mobile health team for help. The team examined the baby and diagnosed her with severe, acute malnourishment. Due to her deteriorated condition and lack of appetite, she was rushed to the government stabilization center where Fardosa works. Normally, an infant has her mother’s milk, in addition to a fortified milk product used to help them gain weight and absorb more nutrients. Without her mother’s milk, Fardosa and her team gave Hawa the fortified milk every two hours around the clock. Because of their diligence, Hawa is now smiling and eating again. “I’m feeling great pleasure when I see the baby now,” Fardosa says with a smile.

Thank you for joining Mercy Corps to work with government nurses like Fardosa who save lives every day. Because of you, baby Hawa is on the path to recovery.


With Gratitude,

Carlene Deits



Fardosa Aden
Fardosa Aden
Upper arm band used to check for malnutrition
Upper arm band used to check for malnutrition



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Organization Information

Mercy Corps

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Carlene Deits
Portland, OR United States

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