The Challenge: In a region as remote as Benishangul-Gumuz, one cannot overstate the detrimental impact on productivity of the health-related absences that arise from the lack of easy access to diagnostic capability. This could be seen in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, where people had limited access to an advanced laboratory centre. Therefore, people from this region experienced a delayed diagnosis of various diseases and conditions, which put their health status at a higher risk. Healthcare workers also faced difficulties in making an accurate diagnosis. Patients often had to travel incredibly long distances (more than 600 KM) to Addis Ababa to access diagnostic services, which was time-consuming, costly and held negative implications for productivity.
Our Response: As of June 2022, Pharo Foundation established a diagnostic centre and started to provide life-saving advanced diagnostic laboratory services for patients. The services provided in the centre include haematology, chemistry, hormonal, parasitology and microbiology tests with advanced automated machines and qualified laboratory professionals. The health facilities and clinics found in the Benishangul-Gumuz region regularly refer patients to the centre for diagnostic services. Patients can also visit the centre for diagnostic services independently. The centre has contributed to improving the health status of the people living in the Benishangul-Gumuz region. It has reduced and even eliminated travel-related burdens limiting patients' access to diagnostic services. In August 2023, the Foundation opened a health clinic to extend the provision of diagnosis to suggested treatment and address the corollary problem of low availability of treatment in the region.