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Making Vital Healthcare Services Accessible in Ethiopia


September 25, 2023 • 2 min read

In Welteha Village, East Haharghe Zone in Ethiopia, there stood a health centre that had fallen into disrepair. Relentless weather conditions and a lack of consistent maintenance had taken its toll on the small healthcare facility. Rainwater leaked through the roof, drenching the service room and soaking essential health documents.

A community in need of health services

The dedicated health extension workers who served the community struggled to fulfil their duties in such a dilapidated environment. It had become nearly impossible to provide essential healthcare services, particularly for pregnant and lactating mothers in the local community who desperately needed antenatal and postnatal care.

GOAL staff, local government authorities, and community members outside the revitalised health centre.

Working together to restore hope

Understanding the importance of accessible healthcare for the community, GOAL worked with local health authorities to find a solution. GOAL provided the construction materials necessary to bring the building back to life, including corrugated iron sheets, cement, barbed wire, paint, ceiling material, antirust paint, and nails. The local community contributed wood and labour for the renovations.

With the combined efforts of GOAL and the community, the renovation of the Welteha health centre began. The sounds of hammers and saws filled the air as the dedicated villagers worked tirelessly to restore the health facility to its former glory. Step by step, the building began to take shape, and hope was restored to the community.

The health centre re-opens

Finally, the day arrived when the health facility was ready to re-open. A sense of anticipation lingered in the air as the local community gathered to witness the service re-launching. Sefiya Adem, a health extension worker for the local government, spoke words of gratitude.

“We were on the verge of discontinuing our services due to the poor work conditions. Rainwater, insects, and other challenges made it nearly impossible. But thanks to the unwavering support of GOAL and the local community, we can resume our vital services after the renovation of the health post,” she said.

The collaborative efforts between GOAL and the community have resulted in the provision of essential healthcare services for over 5,130 individuals residing in and around the area.

“This achievement demonstrates the transformative power of community collaboration in improving access to essential services. At GOAL, we recognise that sustainable change cannot be achieved through handout aid alone; it requires active involvement and contribution from the community.

“As part of our strategy to shift from crisis response to building resilience, GOAL is committed to implementing similar approaches in future interventions. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Irish Aid and the community for their invaluable contributions that have made this achievement possible,” Billy Abimbilla, GOAL Ethiopia Country Director, said.

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GOAL Ethiopia Country Director, Billy Abimbilla, celebrating the re-opening of the health centre in Welteha with the local community