Lotte Bengal, our newest volunteer, is currently in Mekelle to follow up on NALA's former project there. From 2009 to 2014, NALA led a community-based NTD prevention program in Mekelle together with the Tigray Regional Health Bureau and the Organization for Social Services, Health, and Development (OSSHD). Prevalence data indicated that schistosomiasis had been effectively eliminated and the city was declared bilharzia free, becoming the first city in Ethiopia to reach that milestone. In 2015, NALA received a special award from the President of the State of Tigray in recognition of its contribution to health development.
Lotte is now returning to the area to assess how the communities are faring four years after the project's end. She has already organized stool surveys in the schools (photo above), as well as questionnaires for the students. Lotte has previously worked on humanitarian aid projects around the globe, and is now taking time off from her job as a midwife at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva. Born and raised in Belgium, she has spent time with Doctors without Borders in Mozambique, with IsraAid in South Sudan and Nepal, and with Natan in Syria.