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Die Westdeutsche Zeitung: Twice a year, a German team flies to Eritrea to help and train professional staff

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 12 May 2017

May 12, 2017

Dr. Margit Ernenputsch (1.v.l.) mit ihrem Helferteam.
Dr. Margit Ernenputsch (1.v.l.) with her assistant team.

Wuppertalerin helps in Eritrea

From Tanja Heil

Dr. Margit Ernenputsch flies twice a year to the developing country, where she is involved in obstetrics.

A woman typically receives up to ten children in Eritrea. However, there are only 300 doctors across the country, with around five million inhabitants. The aid organization "Hammer Forum" has opened a birth clinic in Eritrea's capital, Asmara. Twice a year, a German team flies to the developing country to help and train professional staff. Wuppertaler Margit Ernenputsch has just returned from her help.

Wuppertal worldwide

"Asmara is a very beautiful city, the people are very warm," she enthuses. Unlike other African countries, she never felt insecure, even at night. But the supply situation continues to be problematic in Eritrea, which has been buffeted by a civil war for many years. "The power cuts are a major obstacle to our work there. And the supply of diesel is also difficult, "she says. But it is precisely in the case of operations that assured current through a generator is decisive.

However, the professor at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences also traveled with a research assignment: she is dedicated to sustainability in the work of relief organizations and wanted to check this at the Hammer Forum. "There is a lot of criticism in the work of relief organizations in Africa," she says. Some would come only to short-term help in the case of catastrophes and then quickly disappeared. However, only long-term help in partnership with local contact persons is sensible.

That is why Margit Ernenputsch developed uniform indicators, which she also asked in Eritrea. "Some factors can not affect an aid organization, such as the power failure or the open-mindedness of government agencies," she explains. Others include dealing with cultural and religious barriers, which play an important role in obstetrics. The Germans could hardly speak directly to women because of the social and political situation.

"The dissatisfaction index was satisfactory," is her summary. Since 2010 the Wuppertaler has been going to Eritrea every spring and would like to repeat her research in the coming years.

The help of the twelve-headed team of gynecologists, surgical nurses and midwives was very important for the clinic where 10,000 children are born every year - mostly problematic because the women do not go to hospital for normal births. "There is also a complete diagnosis of births; Then suddenly there is a twin, "says Margit Ernenputsch. In the chord, babies are born in the delivery room. But the care of mothers and babies is still unsatisfactory, find the experts of the Hammer Forum. Newborns are not partially attracted after birth and threaten to cool down. The life of the mother is considered more important than the life of the infant. To point out that the babies have to be wrapped up warmly, the Germans gave blankets and hats, which had knitted volunteers.

The Hammer Forum has been working in Eritrea for 22 years. During this time, it has given a lot of knowledge to specialists and sisters. Every half year, German experts hold lectures and give lectures

Training. "The young doctors there are very committed," praises Margit Ernenputsch. The willingness to help is also great in Germany. There was a long list of doctors, midwives and nurses who would like to go with them. Other donations are needed to enable the work in Eritrea but also in Burkina Faso or Guinea.

(Software translation)

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