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Ethiopia – SOS Medical and Social Centres

In Ethiopia there are currently eight Social Centres and four Medical Centres for children and the local community, including those in Mekelle and Addis Ababa.  Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community. Medical Centres provide treatments and services to the local community. Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Ethiopia:

SOS Medical Centres around Ethiopia: In-Depth

SOS Medical Centre Makalle EthiopiaMekelle

Description of SOS Medical Centre:

The SOS Medical Centre was launched in October 2001, and provides medical aid to the SOS Children's Village community.  It is publicly available, and is therefore also very valuable to the local community. It consists of two treatment rooms, a variety of adjoining rooms, and a dispensary

Work and Achievements:

The medical centre had provided preventive and curative health care services to the community and village children in so much as its current human and material capacity permits. Health education was one of the major activities conducted to create awareness about preventive health aspects. The health education was given at the clinic and at community sites through coffee ceremonies. The education focused on family planning, personal and environmental hygiene, immunization both for children and adults, and on ante/post natal cares.

The medical centre also engaged in behavioral change communication to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in the program area by creating awareness on the causes of HIV/AIDS, methods of preventing the scourge, and essential support and care for HIV/AIDS patients. To assist in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS among families, training was organized on HIV/AIDS prevention and control as well as the use of antiretroviral drugs for village mothers and aunts.


Description of SOS Medical Centre:

In order to improve the basic health care situation in south-eastern Ethiopia, an SOS Medical Centre has been in operation on temporary premises since 2000. Construction of a permanent facility was started in January 2003 and finished in the autumn of 2005. The SOS Medical Centre comprises a waiting hall/reception, three examination rooms, a pharmacy, a sterilisation room, and an administration area. About 4,300 people receive medical treatment at the SOS Medical Centre annually.

Work and Achievements:

In the 2009 budget year, Gode MC rendered essential health services to communities in and around Gode. The centre mainly provided Pediatrics OPD consultation, Maternal OPD consultation, EPI, ANC&FP, Delivery services, Minor surgery, Laboratory service, Inpatient service (both mothers& Children), Drug dispensary, Emergency service, and Ultrasound examination. During the reporting period, 13,721 beneficiaries have got medical service in the Medical centre.

SOS Medical Centre Awassa EthiopiaAwassa

Description of SOS Medical Centre:

An SOS Medical Centre was launched to guarantee medical assistance for locals and the SOS Children's Village community. Medical treatment is accompanied by information and preventive work on the sectors of diarrhoeic and tropical diseases, fungus infections and HIV/AIDS.

Work and Achievements:

Awassa Medical Centre has been playing a significant role in improving community health by providing access to affordable and quality health services to the surrounding community. As a result, large numbers of clients from the neighborhood and nearby communities have benefitted from the services of the centre.

In the reporting period, a total of 8,002 people received outpatient services from the centre. In addition, 488 people were referred to other institutions like missionaries of charity and the Awassa hospital for some of the cases (surgical cases, Nutritional therapy) were beyond the capacity of the medical centre.

Addis Abeba

Description of SOS Medical Centre:

In 1997, the SOS Medical Centre was opened. It includes a treatment room, a medicine room and side rooms. Approximately 12,000 people receive medical treatment at the SOS Medical Centre every year.

Work and Achievements:

In the year 2009, the medical centre provided essential preventive and curative services to the Keranyo community as well as neighborhood local administrative units. A total of 6,481 clients were benefited from the centre’s preventive services including Immunization, antenatal and postnatal consultations, Family Planning, Voluntary Counseling and Testing( VCT), Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and Growth Monitoring. The centre continued to function as a reliable supplier of health services to the community as could be evidenced from current supply figures and the growing demand of clients for the centre’s health services.

SOS Social Centres around Ethiopia: In-Depth


Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

SOS Social Centre Makelle provides daycare services for disadvantaged children in the local community

Work and Achievements:

The SOS Day Care Centre in Mekelle provided day care services for 150 children at risk of losing the care of their parents in the reporting period. In 2009, the day care centre undertook significant activities that contributed to the prevention of child abandonment in the program area with a major emphasis on interventions intended at providing children with basic survival needs such as nutritious meals, health services, and pre-school education.  In line with the principles of the program, the centre continued to target children coming from single parents, terminally ill parents and other destitute group of families.

Having assessed the high demand of the daycare service in the area, two additional rooms were constructed and 50 new additional eligible children were admitted to the day care centre in the reporting period.  The screening was conducted by community committee and further verification was also conducted by staff members. To ensure the physical, psychological and social development of the children, nutritious meal service has been provided three times a day based on the revised menu. The menu includes fruits, milk, meat and other valuable ingredients. Poor families and single parents who have been participating in the program brought their children aged 2-6 years to the centre every week days at 8:00 AM in the morning and the children stayed up to 4:00 PM.

SOS Social Centre Addis AbebaAddis Abeba

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

In 1997, the SOS Social Centre (Day Care Centre) was opened in a suburb of Addis Abeba called Keranyo. More than 150 children are being cared for there at the moment. The SOS Social Centre also provides help to children from extremely poor families in order to enable them to attend governmental schools which they would be unable to do without the financial help provided by the SOS Social Centre

Work and Achievements:

SOS Day Care Centre offered full day care community services for 196 children at risk of losing the care of their parents and those without parental care in the reporting period. The children were provided with full day care services while their caregivers had been away to generate their daily income. The children received basic essential services consisting of nutritious meals, pre-school education, health services and play during their stay at the centre.

In the 2009 academic year, 52 children from the Day Care Centre had been enrolled in various government schools to attend their formal education, and the same numbers of children were admitted by the centre in their place. The centre worked in collaboration with community associations and local administrations on such matters as child admission.

The African Child Day, SOS Day, Christmas and other holidays were colorfully celebrated by the centre together with children and their families. The centre undertook partial renovation in the previous year, and purchased different utensils like stove and refrigerator.

From our evaluation of its work and the feedback obtained from our right holders and stakeholders alike, the centre has had a positive impact in the healthy growth and development of children under its care as well as the income generation capacity of their parents.

SC Awassa EthiopiaAwassa

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

Since 1994, an SOS Day-care Centre is available for primarily single mothers' children in need. This prevents young children from remaining unsupervised while their mothers without income spend the day finding food. Roughly 100 children, many of whom were previously malnourished are currently cared for in the nursery, which is very appreciated by locals and the Kebele Administration, who praised this facility as a model institution.

Work and Achievements:

A total of 146 children had been supported through the day care centre in the reporting period. Twenty five children who had graduated from the centre were transferred to community school in the 2009 academic year. The centre provided scholastic materials to transferred children and paid their registration fees as well. Children were provided with uniforms to identify them as students and right holders of the program. Holydays have been warmly celebrated in the daycare centre together with the village kindergarten children. Parents /guardians/ of the right holders have been participating in the daycare centre by performing some supportive actions like chopping fire wood, peeling onion, cleaning the compound and so on.

Coming to their health care, proper medical attention has been given to the children in collaboration with our medical centre and other partners. The day care centre has significantly supported the caregivers to run their daily businesses, at the same time the children get all the necessary support during the day; the children nutritious meals three times a day, and also get kindergarten and preschool education.  It is worth to mention the support the centre is providing to the family strengthening program. Children under the family strengthening program but between two to six years of admitted to the daycare and get daycare service. This makes the caregivers to fully engage in their daily businesses, including income generating activities, which is one of the livelihoods of the caregivers. The centre has also been organizing parenting training for the caregivers. The caregivers had also been supporting the day care centres by washing dishes, cleaning day care centre compound, cooking etc. In order to build the staff’s capacity, Nannies have been given training on art craft and paper folding for 15 days.

The Family Strengthening Program Awassa undertook different activities planned for 2009 to meet the project’s objectives. The planned activities performed indicate good progresses towards achieving the goals of the project.  In the reporting period, there were 565 children, (276 females), and 227 care givers. A total of 443 OVC (49% F) were identified for educational support and assisted to attend their education. In addition, 202 (48% F) students were made to attend tutorial programs per the agreement reached between SOS Herman Gmeiner School Awassa and the Educational Outreach Program enabling target school children improve their academic performance. Three of our right holder students graduated with 1st degrees and got employed. Right holders in our FSP Programs being among the high risk groups, 150 of them were provided with nutritious food depending on severity and FDP. In addition, 120 right holders were supplied with house utensils as per the family development plan.