Since 90% of the country's 6 million people rely on access to free medical care at public hospitals and clinics, strengthening the public health system is a priority. In recent years, significant investments have been made to improve services and several new hospitals and teaching facilities were opened to reach medically underserved communities. AmeriCares has partnered with the Eritrean Ministry of Health to send shipments of medical aid to help with the country's urgent health needs.
Snapshot of Eritrea:
Eritrea gained its independence from neighboring Ethiopia in 1991 after 30 years of violent conflict. Over two-thirds of the population live below the poverty line, heavily concentrated in rural areas (80% of population). With a weak economy, health care remains a huge challenge for the under-resourced country. Critical health issues:
- Extremely difficult to access health care, especially for the many people who do not have the means to travel to urban health facilities for medical services
- A major shortage of health care providers, with only one doctor per 20,000 people and most health care workers located in urban areas
- Lack of access to medical care leading to needless deaths in patients with treatable illnesses, new mothers, and children under the age of 5.
AmeriCares began providing medical aid to Eritrea in 2008 with regular shipments of medicines and medical supplies. These products are distributed in the central zone (including the capital city Asmara) at all levels of care, from rural clinics to large hospitals that treat patients with complex needs who come from all over the country. Aid deliveries include prenatal vitamins, masks to prevent the spread of diseases and specialized heart medicines. The majority of AmeriCares support goes to programs focusing on pediatrics, cardiovascular health, diabetes, mental health, and hemophilia.
Notably, AmeriCares supports Orotta National Referral Hospital, a new 200-bed facility offering the most specialized care in the country. It is the only place in Eritrea where people can receive specialized care from experts in the treatment of heart disease, kidney problems and severe skin infections.
AmeriCares also donates medical products to qualified U.S. health care professionals who are traveling to Eritrea to provide charitable medical care. Through this program, donated medicines and medical supplies reach impoverished and isolated communities where even basic medical care is inaccessible to the poor or often non-existent. AmeriCares donations cure infections, relieve pain, help patients manage chronic diseases and make life-changing surgeries possible.
Recent News from Eritrea