Cases

LeAlem Higher Clinic’s dedicated staff treat a range of community health and acute care afflictions, from reproductive complications to adverse reaction to anti-retroviral therapy for HIV, to pediatric asthma, diarrhea and typhus. None of these would receive adequate care without EHN support.

EHN patients are drawn from a structured network of referral partners, by agreements with local government (kebele), NGOs (e.g., OSSA), schools, churches and mosques. LeAlem maintains meticulous patient tracking, financial and performance records.  Below are illustrative testimonials and cases.

Testimonials See the EHN YouTube Channel for beneficiary interviews

Case Study Abstracts (from EHN site visits [names changed])


Teyech, a seven-year-old girl, presenting with headache, lip and facial ulcer. She was seen by LeAlem’s medical staff, and received a prescription and medicine paid for by EHN. Teyech is in first grade, attending school from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Teyech was described by here mother as “a very clever student.” Teyech sleeps on the ground in a shared, one-room house, with her mother and three siblings. Her father died six years ago. The family pays 110 Birr (about nine dollars US) per month house rent. After school Teyech and her sisters sell gum and candy at taxi stations to make money for food. Her mother recently completed anti-tuberculosis medication.


Eleven month-old infant, under care by Atetegeb Worku Memorial Childcare Association, north Addis Ababa. Infant suffers from failure to thrive, not growing and inactive. Infant has been seen by multiple doctors and at Addis hospital, without improvement. In January 2010, as a result of case study work, Atetegeb established a referral agreement with EHN/LeAlem, where LeAlem will provide medical care for children and their nurses, without fee.


Desta is a 50-year-old woman, presenting with gastritis, difficulty sitting and a problem with her knees. She has two children, a son who dropped out of school at grade 9, and a daughter who remains in school grade 10. Desta makes a living selling candles by the church. Her husband is deceased. Currently she is living in a very old kebele-owned one-room house with her two children. She pays 12.25 Birr/month rent (about one dollar US).


Zewdinish, a fifty-year-old woman, presenting with a hand wound, and exhibiting mild starvation. She normally works as a laundress; however, hand wound prevents her from working. Zewdinish eats less than one meal per day. She has no family. LeAlem treated her hand.


Tomas, a 16 year-old boy, presenting with front teeth pain, gum inflammation and bleeding. Tomas is a high-school student, treated by LeAlem dentist.


Etenesh, a 91 year-old woman, presenting with epigastric pain and intestinal disorder. She and her woman friend, 85 year-old Leelie, subsist on less than $100 US per year income generated by begging. They have no children and sleep on the ground in a shed. LeAlem provided medication to Etenesh and vitamin B to Leelie.


Mahilet, a 35 year-old woman, presenting with flank pain. She previously had malaria, and received medication. LeAlem test showed malaria to be cured. She came to Addis in 2002, and works as a housemaid, earning less than $100 per year. Mahilet has five children. Her husband is a farmer in southern Ethiopia. She sends money to her family in Wolayta province. Two of her children live with relatives in Arba Minch, in order to attend better schools.


Yebsira, a seven-year-old beneficiary, whose name means “Work of God,” presented with nausea and vomiting. She is a clever, fourth grade student, treated for free by LeAlem.


Melaku, a ten year-old boy, presenting with ulcers on his face. His mother Amerech, age 36, is blind. Birke presented with severe headache and flank pain. Melaku and Birke live in a one-room house with 14-16 people. They pay 120 Birr/month rent (about nine dollars US). Melaku and Amerech subsist by begging near the Saint Uriel Church baptismal spring. Amerech has been blind for eight years; she lost her vision in a laundry accident. Melaku is in third grade in public school.


Zewdinish, a 38 year-old mother of two, presenting with flank pain. Previously, she was treated for a gynecological disorder. Zewdinish subsists by selling small merchandise on the street; however, the government has moved to disallow her petty sales trade. She and her ten year-old son and fourteen year-old daughter sleep under a plastic tarp by the street. She and her children eat irregularly.


Hiwot, age six, and his mother, Zenbech, both presented with nausea and vomiting. Both had been treated for Typhus, a parasitical disease that can be fatal if untreated. LeAlem initially saw both patients in December 2009, and both received a follow-up check for parasites. Zenbech makes less than $100 US per year by washing clothes.


Birke, a ten-year old girl, presented with an earache and fungus on her scalp. LeAlem treated her with eardrops and anti-fungal shampoo, followed-up by irrigation, scheduled three days later. Birke is a fifth grade student. She lives with her family; her father is a day laborer making less than $100 US/year.


Almaz, a 33 year-old mother, and her two year-old son, Liul. Almaz presented with abdominal pain and her son presented with coughing and a skin rash. Almaz, a divorcee, lives in a one-room house with her mother and son. She works as a laundress.



Organization for Social Services for AIDS (OSSA) was one of the first medical referral partners with which LeAlem established a relationship. In the first three months of partnership, LeAlem cared for 65 OSSA beneficiaries. The OSSA-LeAlem referral agreement stipulates that OSSA may refer up to 5 patients per day. In the article, “Facilitated Free Diagnosis and Medication Health Services,” OSSA branch manager Paulos Kenea notes, “Although the OSSA Addis Ababa Community Based HIV/AIDS Care and Support Program successfully provided various support to the target beneficiaries, the holistic health needs of the target OVCs [orphans and vulnerable children] and PLWHA [people living with HIV/AIDS] can’t be fulfilled by a single program.”

Partnering with LeAlem provides a high quality service to patients with medical needs outside the scope of HIV/AIDS care. Kenea wrote that the LeAlem program treats OSSA patients without cost to OSSA, and patients found “We [were] treated by skilled professionals in [an] appropriate setting with appropriate equipments and supplies. [The LeAlem program] avoids the barriers to get access to health care.” OSSA patients found LeAlem staff highly respectful, and that they were “treated based on their needs, ages, with due respect and dignity.” Kenea further noted, “A significant portion of our beneficiaries also reported that they were given orientation on preventative care and basic health education at each session of their visits.”