I’ve been meaning to post about a few sources of information about Ethiopia I’ve recently discovered, but I keep forgetting to actually write a post! So, before I forget, here are a few things some might want to check out:
A Walk to Beautiful (PBS NOVA) – I learned about this from WHFC and I watched it online a couple of months ago. In Ethiopia (and in other places) many women go through several-days-long labor to end up with a stillborn baby and fistulas (holes caused by pressure in the areas surrounding the vagina, bladder, and/or rectum) because they do not have access to medical care during childbirth. The fistulas cause them to be incontinent, which typically means they become outcasts from family and friends. This documentary tells the stories of several Ethiopian women, and of a hospital in Addis Ababa set up specifically to treat and repair fistulas. I just got a copy of a book called The Hospital by the River, which tells the story of the doctors who established the hospital. Thanks to Zoe for letting me know about the book.
The Market Maker (PBS Wide Angle) – I admit that this documentary has been sitting in our DVR for a couple of months and we haven’t watched it yet, but I also learned the other day that it is available online (and was reminded that we need to watch it). It is about an Ethiopian-born economist who returns to Ethiopia to set up its first commodities exchange in an effort to boost the local economy.
Mothers of Ethiopia series (by Hanna Ingber Win on The Huffington Post) – This is a 5-part series (the link is to the first article; at the end of the article there are links to the other four articles) about the lack of ob/gyn care for women in Ethiopia. There are some staggering statistics – like the fact that in the US a woman has a 1 in 4800 chance of dying due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth (in her lifetime), and in Ethiopia, a woman’s chance is 1 in 27. Wow. Thanks to Alan for letting me know about this interesting series of articles.
Ardi – Researchers recently announced the significance of finding a 4.4-million-year-old hominid skeleton in Ethiopia back in the 1990s. The discovery of Ardi is causing researchers to re-think the previously-thought connection between humans and chimpanzees. Lucy (yes, that’s a Wikipedia link – I didn’t have a recent article to link to!) was also discovered in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is thought by many to be the place where man first walked the Earth, which is why we sometimes hear it referred to as the cradle of humanity.
Current food/famine crisis – Ethiopia is currently suffering a serious drought, which is wreaking havoc on the agricultural system and resulting in severe food shortages. I’m going to try to find out what we could do to help in this situation.
Ethiopia Reads – This is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting literacy in Ethiopia by connecting Ethiopian children with books.
World Food Prize – The 2009 winner of the World Food Prize, Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, is Ethiopian and a professor at my alma mater, Purdue University. His research into drought-resistant sorghum hybrids has dramatically increased production of this very important food source in Africa.