Allan Bussard, CEO of Integra in Slovakia, tells us about their collaboration with fellow Integral Member MAP International …
What was the need / the situation?
The Borena Zone in Ethiopia has suffered an acute water shortage over the past few years, which has led to a health crisis in 5 of the 13 districts. The Borena regional health authority noted that approximately 30,000 women and children were suffering from moderate or severe malnutrition, so Integral Slovakia has been operating there in order to try and meet this need.
How did you meet that need?
Working with our local partner on the ground, MTE, we supplied medicines to the target communities. Integra is one of only two agencies (the other being UNICEF) which has been authorised by the local government to carry out this intervention. We were able to purchase just short of 30,000 medical items and then distribute them via the regional health authority’s community clinics. The medicines purchased included water purification kits which helped prevent the onset and subsequent spread of chronic diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, measles and dysentery. The targeted population has very little access to medicine so the regional heath bureau prioritised the medicine free-of-charge to nursing and pregnant mothers, and children under 5.
What was the Integral collaboration?
The benefit of working with MAP International was that the trust and communication channels were in place, so the response time was very fast. Also, that they gave us freedom to respond in the best possible way. With the funds we were able to purchase low-cost wholesale drugs from the government, and multiply the funds.
What were the results?
Due to our interventions in the health sector, other NGOs active in the region have been able to offer complementary support including emergency food distribution and work schemes.
Image shows drugs being loaded onto a truck for distribution. © Allan Bussard/Integra