CBM Australia and CURE International rehabilitating lives in Ethiopia

Stories | October 20, 2022

For most people in Australia, breaking an arm or wrist is not a big deal. The teenager in me would even go as far as saying it is “cool” (who didn’t love being the centre of attention at school and getting all your classmates to sign your cast?).

I think like this because, in Australia, we have access to good public healthcare. So a broken wrist, in most cases, will not leave you with a permanent disability. However, this is not the reality for everyone – especially those living in some of the poorest places, where breaking a bone can lead to permanent physical disability.

In Ethiopia, CBM Australia works with local partners to improve the quality of life for children with treatable physical disabilities by improving access to medical services, including paediatrics, orthopaedic and rehabilitative care – children like Shasho. 

CBM first met Shasho through its implementing partner, CURE International, when she visited a mobile health clinic in central Ethiopia set up by the CBM-funded project, CURE Ethiopia Inclusive Health Project for Children. Shasho went to the clinic to get help for her hand, which she had injured during a fall a couple of months prior.

Before coming to the clinic, Shasho had already sought treatment from a traditional healer and at another hospital. But neither treatment was effective. So the mobile clinic was the final option. 

At the clinic, the medical team assessed Shasho’s hand and her injury was deemed suitable for surgery. At last, Shasho had a plan, and the road to recovery was in sight. Shasho underwent two surgeries, both performed by one of the project’s experienced orthopaedic surgeons.

The surgeries were a great success, and the surgeon did a beautiful job straightening Shasho’s arm. As a result, Shasho could return home to rest and recover. To ensure that children most in need can access these medical services, the CBM project also assists by covering travel-related expenses for patients, caregivers and any project workers accompanying the patient to the hospital. However, our support does not end there.

Shasho is all smiles pre her arm surgery. Image by CURE International.
Shasho is all smiles pre her arm surgery. Image by CURE International.

The CBM project takes a holistic approach to surgery and rehabilitation, providing counselling for children and pre- and post-surgical care, including meals, accommodation, nursing and all appropriate medical care. For many people like Shasho, being able to access surgical and rehabilitative care services is the difference between having a permanent physical disability and not – a difference that can have a significant impact on outcomes later in life.
This approach is only possible through generous donations from Australians like you. So please click here to donate to support more work like this and change the lives of more children like Shasho. 

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and thanks our partner, CURE International.

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