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Stichting Bilateral Matters Foundation (afgekort: BILMA Foundation) initiëert gezondheidszorg projecten in Zuid Ethiopië (in de Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region). De Stichting werkt hiervoor samen met het SNNPR Gezondheidsbureau in Hawassa, de hoofdstad van deze zuidelijke staat. In de jaren 2010-2011 is door een bestuurslid onderzoek gedaan naar een verifiëerbare hoogte van de moedersterfte in de verschillende Zones van de SNNPR, waarbij de Universiteit van Hawassa ondersteuning verleende. De moedersterfte blijkt hieruit ruim twee maal hoger dan de laatste UN schatting. Naar aanleiding hiervan is het project om jonge vrouwen op te leiden tot vroedvrouw in 2014 ontwikkeld, en in januari 2015 van start gegaan. Zie de kaart voor de bij het onderzoek betrokken gezondheidscentra in 2011.

Reisverslag aan twee Health Science Opleidingsinstellingen door Mr. Adane Sewhunegn January 2016

Acht studenten zijn ingeschreven aan de vroedvrouwen opleiding bij de HBO opleidingsinstituten in Arbaminch en in Aman Health Science Colleges, onder toezicht van het SNNPRS-Regional Health Bureau, door een bijdrage van Bilma Foundation.

1e reis naar Arbaminch Health Science College - start van het jaar 2016
aantal toegelaten studenten: één - 2e jaars student (2015) en vijf - 1e jaars studenten (2016) - Engelse tekst On 4th of January 2016, Mr. Aknaw Kawuza and me visited Arbaminch Health Science College and had a meeting with the new five students along with one of the senior students remaining. We discussed with the head of the Arbaminch Health Science College, Mr. Mulugeta Dalbo and the vice head of the college who is also the owner of the teaching learning core proses team Mr. Bahiru Mulatu. We have raised many issues among which emphasis was given to the teaching learning process of the college and what is expected from the students in their stay. I gave an overview of the development of Bilma Foundation. Particularly the role of Mr. Lode’s research (*) outcome was discussed intensively to the students in order for them get inspired by the profession they are just joining.
Mr. Aknaw Kawuza, head of the planning directorate of the Regional Health Bureau, on his part elaborated on the agreement made between Bilma Foundation and the Regional Health Bureau as well as the respective Health Science Colleges and Zonal Health Departments. He mentioned the importance of Bilma Foundation´s support to solve the maternal health problems surfacing in the selected woredas where they come from and gave an assignment that the solution to maternal problems of their communities basically relays on their academic success of being competent midwifery professionals.

Mr Bahiru Mulatu, V/Dean and Teaching learning core process owner of Arbaminch Health Science College. Picture taken with permission (Picture credit by Adane Sewhunegn).
Mr Bahiru Mulatu, V/Dean and Teaching learning core process owner of Arbaminch Health Science College. Picture taken with permission (Picture credit by Adane Sewhunegn).

Additionally, the experience of last year admitted students to this program and the shortcomings of last year’s selection process that ended in selecting academically poor students and resulting in dropout of two out of the three (67% dropout rate) was stressed by the college managers and they happily accepted the suggestion that Bilma foundation proposed to select students on competitive basis as long as candidates are from preferred woredas of Bilma Foundation. Now that the five students selected are within the preferred woredas as well as selected based on their merit, will enhance the success and achievement of the desired goals of Bilma Foundation.

Five new students admitted at Arbaminch Health Science College with the one senior student at the middle writing on her exercise book, discussing with me and Mr. Aknaw during our visit (Picture credit by Mr Aknaw Kawuza).
Five new students admitted at Arbaminch Health Science College with the one senior student at the middle writing on her exercise book, discussing with me and Mr. Aknaw during our visit (Picture credit by Mr Aknaw Kawuza).

Students also raised their feelings of being considered for this scholarship on one hand as well as being midwifery professionals on the other hand as being a double opportunity for them. They warmly acknowledge Bilma Foundation and vowed to work hard and become model students for the Foundation. They also accounted the problems they would have faced, had it not been getting the specific support where some were unsure of continuing the three year-long training with the support only from their family.
Finally the second year student of the 2015 intake Arme Ayike shared her witness on the unfortunate dropout of her cohort, and stressed that the new students must make a change for clearing the mess. She also acknowledged the significance of support by Bilma foundation that is really inspiring and instrumental to achieve excellent scores compared to other students who do not really have such assistance. Mr. Adane Sewhunegn Molla
Bilma Foundation´s Representative
Hawassa, SNNPR, Ethiopia Note: * = Mr. Lode van Reedt Dortland, Chairman of Bilma Foundation, The Netherlands 2nd journey to Mizan-Aman Health Science College - start of year 2016
number admitted: three - 2nd year student (2015) and three - 1st year students (2016) On 29th of January 2016, I traveled to Mizan-Aman Health Science College to meet and discuss with new selected students as well as to observe the second year students who just return back from their practical attachment. The head of the college Mr. Addisu Gebre Mariam invited me to his office to discuss with the students in his presence. Both group of students (senior and newly selected) were called for the meeting, unfortunately two students were not around on the meeting day, one senior student (Student Ntsanet Abebe Selih) was sick and unable to attend the meeting on that day while the other new student (Student Aster Daniel Bamo) was away from Aman for family reasons, though I notified of my visit several times.
I managed to see the sick student which was a minor sickness suspected to be Malaria; She was on treatment and followed her situation upon my return which I confirmed of her successful recovery. Regarding the second student, I waited for one extra night to meet her when returning back to Aman and managed to meet her and shared what we have just discussed and introduced her with senior students of Bilma foundation.

Discussion with new and senior students inside the dean's office (Front center, Mr Addisu G/Mariam, Dean Aman College of Health Sciences, student Elsa Birega Abebe first student next to the right side of Mr Addisu, Student Elshaday Antneh and Jemila Seid on the right side of Elsa are two senior students, and Student Genet Habtamu the other new student), (Picture credit by Adane Sewhunegn)
Discussion with new and senior students inside the dean’s office (Front center, Mr Addisu G/Mariam, Dean Aman College of Health Sciences, student Elsa Birega Abebe first student next to the right side of Mr Addisu, Student Elshaday Antneh and Jemila Seid on the right side of Elsa are two senior students, and Student Genet Habtamu the other new student), (Picture credit by Adane Sewhunegn)

During our meeting with the four students (two senior and two newly recruited), Mr. Addisu first raised the opportunity they have just obtained and acknowledged Bilma Foundation for supporting the community in need of the special training. He mentioned the intake capacity of the government for health professionals training and the problem of drawing profession at random as opposed to the demand of midwifery profession in the selected Bilma Foundation preferred woredas.
He then explained the role they must play in turning the initiative to a success by completing the training successfully and helping their communities back to solve an ever changing maternal problems of the respective localities. As discussed with Arbaminch students, I also discussed well about historical development of Bilma Foundation and the role of Mr. Lode’s research in realizing this project. I also stressed the role expected from senior students as well as the newly recruited students in bringing this beginning a reality by becoming midwifery professionals. I also visited the lecture and demonstration rooms as I did last year and made clear for the staff that these students are indicators of the hard work of the staff of midwifery nursing department, in a way that solving maternal health problems in the future relays on the success of these students. Students on their part promised to realize Bilma Foundations vision by successfully completing the training within the planned schedule.

Students in front of their class room and besides a bill board that reflects their profession in Amharic, an English equivalent of which states
Students in front of their class room and besides a bill board that reflects their profession in Amharic, an English equivalent of which states “No single mother should die while giving birth” (Picture credit by Adane Sewhunegn)