Addis Ababa Hilton Hotel donated 300 bed sheets, 50 bed covers, 50 blankets, 100 pillows and 300 pillow cases to Black Lion Hospital on Wednesday July 25 2012. The hotel made the donation to the hospitals labor ward as part of the Blue Energy Initiative. The hotel donated the used materials as it recently went through the refurnishing of all its rooms.
“We wanted to donate the materials to the hospital instead of just selling it because we know the problem it is facing; the hotel just wanted to do its part for the community. Blue Energy has been involved in such community works for a long time,” stated Nebiu Elias, Training Manager at Hilton Hotel.
Black Lion hospital which is one of the oldest and specialized hospitals has had a problem with providing the adequate basic materials to the labor ward for a long time.
“Skin to skin contact between mother and baby is very important for new born babies, but we couldn’t do that because there aren’t enough drying clothes or blankets. The level of hypothermia is very high in the ward because babies are separated from their mothers in order to keep them warm in a different room, clearly this is not correct and it needs to be changed,” said Alice Allan, Lactation Consultant at the hospital who has been volunteering and raising money for the cause.
There is some research that shows that if babies are breast fed within one hour of their birth, there will be a 22 percent drop in neonatal mortality. The hospital is where people with low income come to give birth. It charges 2.50 birr for bed per day. Most mothers give birth on a bed that doesn’t have bed sheets or blankets to keep them warm, they keep on whatever they were wearing when they entered the hospital to keep warm.
“One of the major causes for death in the babies is the cold, when we move them from one room to another for checkups or for any problem we lose a lot of babies, so this donation is a lifesaving donation,” said Midwife, Alemayehu Gebretsadik.
It was the first time in recent years that the hospital received a donation. “Of course there is a budget from the government to cover these kinds of things but it is not that simple. This is a very big hospital that sees a lot of patients every day, the money we get from the Government can’t cover everything,” said Alemayehu.
He also stated that the government has seen the problem and is reviewing the budget, with intentions to increase it for the coming year. But until then, the Hospital welcomes more donations of this kind.