In 2004, when visiting the community of Yooren, and neighboring villages, it was apparent that there were no health service facilities available to the people in the local area. When we asked the community what their priority need was, their response was simple:
“We need a health facility so that we can access health care services”
Health post - project summary 2004-2014
In late 2004 community meetings in the village of Yooren were held. From these meetings the community expressed their priority need as having greater access to health care services. At that time there were no health services available in the community. Data was collected from the nearest Health Centre (HC), which is approximately 80km from the village. The data indicated poor health statistics, with high mortality rates from curable diseases, such as malaria, dysentery and respiratory infections. In close consultation with the community, local partners and the regional government it was decided that Barefoot Initiative would support the construction of a Health Post (HP).
The main objective of this project was to:
• Improve life expectancy amongst the beneficiary group
• Provide the target group with better access to government health services
• Increase the number of local people who approach the government healthcare systems and facilities to cope with treatable & curable diseases
• Improve participation of stakeholders in contributing services to cope with the beneficiary groups poor social and demographic profile
• Reduce rates in water-borne disease and other diseases caused by poor health and hygiene amongst the target population
• Improve incomes in the target families due to a greater capacity work as a result of better health
Aidan Glasby designed the HP based on a five-pointed star reflecting the Islamic faith of the Afar people. The building also takes into consideration the design of traditional huts, which have roofs that extend to the ground. The triangular shape of the building blends into the surrounding landscape, which is marked with a mountainous horizon.
The HP was received with a great sense of pride and ownership from the community members because of its unique structure and aesthetics.
After 10 years of serving the community, the government have constructed a new HP to replace the old one. The old HP has been renovated, and "Molta" the women's income generating cooperative now operates from it.