The Project

This project seeks to open a medical facility in Lalibela, Ethiopia, to help women suffering Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP), a common ailment in Ethiopia which is not covered by normal health provisions in the area. It seeks also to develop and spread awareness about POP in Ethiopia and to act as a model for further development of such services across the country.

More will follow about Pelvic Organ Prolapse on the next page.

The area is made up of Lalibela town plus two rural districts or woredas. Altogether there are 58 different health facilities in this area – a hospital, public health centres, health posts and private clinics. Although many women in the area suffer Pelvic Organ Prolapse, there are no facilities available in the area for its treatment, and doctors and health professionals are insufficiently trained and equipped to deal with the problem.

We want to remedy that.

Several main factors increase the prevalence of POP in rural Ethiopia: on the demand side, gender inequality, economic reasons and high child mortality and, on the supply side, no availability of accessible services.

Our specific objectives are:

  • To establish a fully-equipped pelvic organ prolapse care clinic in Lalibela;
  • To provide preventive public education to promote simple pelvic floor strengthening exercises, to advise on diet for preventing constipation, on correct heavy lifting and on birth control;
  • To establish treatments for every stage of womb descent;
  • To organise campaigns to support surgeons’ needs;
  • To organise volunteer work for physicians and other health professionals and encourage medically qualified foreign visitors to visit Lalibela;
  • To recruit required staff amongst local volunteers, foreign visitors and from POP groups, and to train them and progressively create functioning work teams;
  • To campaign for women’s health education and promote the prevention of pelvic organ prolapse;
  • In the long run, to acquire an ambulance to collect and return patients or to treat them at home.

Gender issues are key components of the project, because the vulnerable patients are females. Therefore, any management process will be gender sensitive and follow “70-70-70”, meaning that 70% of the project management will be females, 70% of the organization’s staff will be females, and 70% of technical and coordinator positions will be occupied by females.

NEXT: About Pelvic Organ Prolapse