Sister Inge in Attat, Ethiopia, is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters and Associates who faithfully live our mission of healing presence today.
Born in Emmerich, Germany, in 1935, Sister Inge Jansen was 22 years old when she entered the Medical Mission Sisters in England in 1957. At that time, our Community had no formation house in Germany. After her First Profession of Vows, Sister Inge and several others were assigned to start a Medical Mission Sisters’ foundation in Essen, now a little over 50 years ago.
After she received her nursing diploma in Germany, in 1968 Sister Inge was assigned to Uganda to assist with preparation for another new mission of our Community, this time in Ethiopia. The country’s many health needs had deeply touched Mother Anna Dengel’s heart and she was pleased when there were both German and Indian Sisters who were able to respond to them. In 1969, Medical Mission Sisters assumed the administration and staffing of Attat Hospital, a rural, 73-bed hospital in the Gurage area of the nation. Since its opening, Sister Inge has been present in many healing ways to hundreds of thousands of women, children and men as a nurse, administrator, and manager of the hospital’s business office.
Sister Inge was recently awarded the Cross of the German Government for Distinguished Service for her 42 years of dedicated service to the Ethiopian people. The German Ambassador, Ms. Lieselore Cyrus, presented Sister Inge with this award in August at the German Embassy in Addis Abeba.
When receiving this very special honor, Sister shared her personal pleasure in the “many changes and highlights, especially the improvement in the health and educational status of the local population” over the years. Although now retired from active work, she continues to “be there” in Attat, offering support and encouragement to the Ethiopian co-workers who have assumed her previous positions. Attat Hospital also continues to be very actively involved in numerous aspects of health care, health education, disease prevention, provision of safe water and sanitation, and training of local health workers, and is a center for HIV/AIDS voluntary counseling and testing, and a safe haven for high-risk mothers to await the delivery of their babies.
September 1, 2012