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Ethiopian ER

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109824.  Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:41 am Reply with quote

There are more Ethiopian doctors in Chicago than Ethiopia.

There are four million HIV carriers in Ethiopia. 250,000 live with AIDS. Only about 10,000 of them receive treatment for the virus.

Out of a population of 78 million people, there are only 18 trained psychiatrists. There is no word in Amharic, Ethiopia's national language, for depression. The mentally ill are shackled at home.

One common yet highly unusual (to a Western mind) ailment is a patient's possession by the 'zar', a kind of spirit. The patient becomes listless and goes into a meditative state. Ethiopians also get sick because they believe they have been given the Evil Eye.

Rural Ethiopians see illness as a punishment from God, and frequently rely on traditional healers who distribute herbal and animal remedies.

An Ethiopian doctor will never inform a patient of a terminal diagnosis. Instead the doctor will tell a close relative. This protects the patient from being discouraged; encouragement from relatives gives the patient hope and protects him or her from despair.

One other curious therapy employed by Ethiopians in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is art.

Sometimes, when a person is sick, he or she commissions a scroll.

Using a complex iconographic system, a cleric paints arresting images and prayers on the scroll, which combat the forces causing illness. The images which appear on the scrolls range from religious symbols, the story of King Solomon, lions, birds, and abstract talismanic patterns to the most frequently depicted symbols, colorfully-rendered eyes. The patient looks fixedly at the scroll and enters a healing trance; by staring at the scroll, the patient is penetrated and cured through his or her eyes.

Ethiopia is one of 28 countries in Africa and the Middle East that still practice female circumcision. There's no anesthesia. The instruments are rudimentary. The WHO estimates that 130 million women have been circumcised.Ethiopians believe the ritual is a type of cleaning, and that without it, their daughters won't get a husband.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, using figures from the 1990 census, estimated that 168,000 girls and women in the United States have undergone the procedure or were at risk of being subjected to it.

There are more nurses from Malawi in Manchester than in Milawi.

The US has more than half of all the world's nurses.

23% of doctors trained in sub-Saharan Africa work in developed countries. 37% of South African doctors are in rich countries.

75 of the world's poorest countries have fewer than three health workers for every 1,000 people.

The World Health Organisation has recently highlighted the “deadly impact” of a shortage of trained medical staff because so many of their doctors and nurses leave to work in wealthier countries.

The WHO estimated that the world is short of 4.3 million medical personnel and that this impacts tackling the world's most serious diseases.

In Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, a quarter or more of all physicians have come from other countries.


Press Association Newswire, 5 April 2006,7340,L-3316965,00.html

Last edited by Bunter on Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:42 am; edited 2 times in total

110762.  Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:10 pm Reply with quote

Good stuff, Justin. Although
common and highly unusual

maladies are occur very frequently in this area too, and also very infrequently.

111189.  Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:40 am Reply with quote

Sorry. I meant common YET highly unusual...

(Highly unusual meaning to US)

have changed...


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