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RGA / Sana sister fights for preemies in Eritrea

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Sana sister fights for preemies in Eritrea

 Silke Scheider-Börsch with nurses in the "Neo Asmara". The head of the Sana Children's Intensive Care Unit provides 
© Klaus Becker
Silke Scheider-Börsch builds a children's ward with the association Arche Med. On January 27, the Remscheiders can help her.
By Axel Richter
The physicians from Remscheid have had to learn a lot in Africa. That in Eritrea, after 30 years of civil war, people treat death differently, for example. That while they accompany each non-viable premature baby on the way to the children's intensive care unit of the Sana-Klinikum, the morticians in Eritrea are often left to their own devices and the doctors are condemned to watch. That children die just because there is no antibiotic in the capital Asmara that would have any pharmacy in Germany.
"You have to make a lot of things with yourself there. And there are many days when tears are flowing, "says Silke Scheider-Börsch (44). But there are also beautiful moments, medical advances and inquisitive people, the nurse and director of the children's intensive care unit in Remscheid fly over and over again.On January 27, the Remscheider have the opportunity to help Silke Scheider-Börsch.
15 years ago, she got involved in a relief project that the then chief physician of the Sana Children's Hospital. Bernhard Ibach had initiated. Ibach joined the Hammer Forum - an initiative that had set itself the task with the later founded association Arche Med to suppress infant mortality in the country in the Horn of Africa.
Nearly 90 percent of children died in the early 2000s. And often only because the simplest hygiene standards were not met. "For example, the newborns were placed next to older sick children, where they became infected and died," reports Silke Scheider-Börsch. There was no electricity, no running water. The doctors, nurses and nurses put themselves on hand, brought warm beds, monitors, medicines to Asmara.
"Neo Asmara" is the name of the children's ward that Silke Scheider-Börsch has set up in Eritrea with other doctors, nurses and sisters, organized in several teams. 20 to 25 newborns can be cared for there by nurses trained to German standards. Some days, twice as many people are looking for help.
"We secure jobs, we give people a perspective." 
Silke Scheider-Börsch, Head of the Sana Children's Intensive Care Unit
That's why the teams have built more stations in Eritrea. So that the paths become shorter and do not repeat what the physicians from Remscheid also had to watch: "A mother was standing in front of the door with her dead child in her arms," ​​reports Silke Scheider-Börsch. "It had died on the way."
Life spares the volunteer doctors, nurses, nurses and a technician who repairs the incubators and other technical equipment, probably in a different way. "Neo Asmara" is already doing what many politicians just talk about. It fights escape causes.
"We secure jobs, we give people a perspective," says Silke Scheider-Börsch. The result: In the past 15 years, only two employees have left the station and also the country.
FIRST AID Silke Scheider-Börsch invites you to a first aid course for the child at the Sana-Klinikum on Saturday, 27 January at 3 pm. The participation costs 20 euros. The revenue is earmarked for the purchase of respiratory support equipment. The devices at a price of 1000 euros supply the lungs of the little patients in Eritrea with oxygen and air. Registration until January 25th at 13 86 10.
This also makes them proud of what Arche Med has achieved in Eritrea, says Silke Scheider-Börsch. In April she flies again.Despite all the sad moments that she expects again. And despite worries that she feels before every trip. Did the helpers stick to what she taught them about medical standards? This is far from self-evident, because that's what the Remscheid physicians first had to learn: in Africa, clocks tick differently, and even small advances need a lot of time.

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