Ethiopia: Tigray’s biggest hospital still lacking medical supplies
A mother with her malnourished baby in Ayder hospital in Mekelle, Tigray’s capital. The UN says 2m people in the region are suffering from ‘an extreme lack of food’. Photograph: Leul Kinfu/Unicef
ADDIS ABABA – The biggest hospital within the Tigray region of Ethiopia is still struggling with an acute shortage of drugs further exposing millions of people who are freshly from one of the worst wars of all time, doctors said while calling for an immediate response from the international community.
Doctors attached to the Ayder Comprehensive Referral Hospital said the facility is still struggling to get medical supplies despite the recently signed peace deal which ended the two-year war that left thousands of people dead and others critically wounded.
The Chief Executive Officer of the hospital Kibrom Selassie said they were still waiting for medical supplies to help thousands of people who remain badly exposed to diseases. He regretted the delay in the essential services within the facility which is the largest in Mekelle, the regional administrative capital of Tigray.
“Nothing is changed even after the peace agreement; the federal government is not supplying the much-needed medicines including laboratory reagents to the hospital,” said Dr. Kibrom.
Dr. Kibrom Selassie, however, said critical medical supplies were being donated by the Red Cross International and the World Food Programme but it is not enough to cater to the entire population which is fresh from the war. The war started in November 2020 before a truce was reached two years later.
“It is known that 60-70% of critical decisions in diagnosis and treatment involve quantifiable laboratory data. More than two years since the war Ayder Hospital has not received laboratory reagents,” it said.
According to Dr. Kibrom the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency’s [EPSA] branch in Mekelle responded to the hospital’s request saying that no medical supplies were sent by the federal government.
The World Health Organization [WHO] has been struggling to equip health facilities in the Tigray region but the process has been super slow due to the sluggish withdrawal of Eritrean troops from parts of Tigray. It was reported last week that most of these soldiers have since withdrawn from the northern parts.