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Expansion and enhancement of the laboratory of Let Children Have Health Paediatric Clinic in Meki, Ethiopia

The project aims to improve through the laboratory maternal health and fight against malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and neglected tropical diseases. It will benefit 22,600 children and 25,000 women during the years 2019 and 2020, respectively. The expected outcomes of the project are improving both the laboratory's performance and the health care offered by the Paediatric Clinic.

Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries in the world according to the HDI (174/180), and one of the main reasons is its poor rural health sector. Health care access is low: Oromia, the region in which Meki is located, is one of the three regions of the country with the lowest percentage of hospital attended deliveries (19% vs. the average, 26%). 70% of women mention problems accessing pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Only 17% of women giving birth and 13% of new-borns are assessed in the first two days following birth and the unmet medical need for family planning in Oromia is the highest in the country: 29%. Mortality rates in children under 5 years of age, is 67 deaths for every 1,000 live births, and during the first year it is 48 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The project will be implemented over two years (2018-2020) with the aim of improving maternal health and combating malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and neglected tropical diseases using the laboratory of the Let Children Have Health Paediatric Clinic in Meki. During these two years there is also the intention to adapt the laboratory's design and operation to accommodate for the needs of the HIV and maternal-infant units of the Paediatric Clinic.

The project's expected outcomes are basically three:
1) Improving the performance of the laboratory of the Paediatric Clinic in Meki 
A.1.1. Consultation on design, equipment and manning of the laboratory to adapt it to the clinic's new requirements and the service volume to which it will attend.
A.1.2. Setting up the laboratory and monitoring its operation for one year.
A.1.3. Assessing its performance and any improvements to be implemented to optimise it.

2) Once the identification of malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, pregnancies and universal HIV screening to identify HIV-positive children, has been carried out.
A.2.1. Consultations and medical activity in the clinic

3) Educate and train local health workers to manage the new facilities and laboratory procedures.
A.3.1. Training course for laboratory staff and monitoring for managing the new facilities.

Different phases will be required to obtain the results described above:
  • During the first quarter there will be consultation on the design, equipment, and staff training.
  • The laboratory will become operational in April and will start working and providing patient services.
  • At the end of the year, a performance assessment will take place with any possible proposals for operational improvements of the laboratory being applied in 2020.
It is estimated that 1,600 women will benefit from this project during the first year and 4,000 women during the second year. The clinic will assist a minimum of 400 women per quarter during their pregnancy, representing a total of 1,600 consultations per year. In addition, some 21,000 children (49% of them will be girls in 2019, it is estimated that the participation of girls as beneficiaries will increase to 50% in 2020), per year are attended by the Let Children Have Health Paediatric Clinic, who will also benefit from laboratory tests.