On Monday morning, the community of Eugene, Oregon rallied to fill two shipping containers full of donated medical equipment, and get those containers traveling toward Shinshicho, Ethiopia, where Holt is helping to build a maternal-child hospital.
When Holt began family strengthening projects in Shinshicho six years ago, the only clinic in the area was run-down and understaffed, with not a single full-time doctor on staff. As a result, many mothers were forced to gamble on their health, and the health of their children — especially when undergoing a difficult childbirth. Facing complications, they could try to make the 12-mile journey by foot to the nearest hospital in Durame, or hope they would be OK. Seeing the tremendous need for better medical care, Holt helped Shinshicho revamp the run-down clinic in their town, and more than 50,000 people received care the first year. Still, the clinic couldn’t treat more advanced conditions, including birthing complications, or those requiring surgeries or X-rays.
At the urging of Shinshicho elders, Holt and officials from Ethiopia began to draft plans for a hospital focused on mother and child health, but prepared to offer life-saving medical care to the 250,000 people who live in the region.
In 2010, Holt made a historic decision to open a 40,000-square foot maternal and child hospital in Shinshicho, equipped with surgical units, X-ray labs and more than 100 doctors trained in advanced care.
Now, with the help of so many passionate and generous individuals, the surgical units and birthing wing of the hospital are scheduled to open in early 2014. While more than $600,000 has already been raised for the hospital, Holt still needs about $400,000 to complete the project. The community of Shinshicho, where most people live on less than $2 per day, has already raised more than $150,000.
If you would like to donate to the Shinshicho Mother and Child Hospital, click here.