from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – THE situation in the Amhara region of Ethiopia is dire as the health facilities struggle to provide urgent and lifesaving medical care.
Patients wounded in ongoing violence and those facing other life-threatening conditions are bearing the brunt.
Due to the security situation in this northern region, many health facilities have not been able to replenish supplies. Ambulances could not move quickly to respond to emergencies in the most affected areas.
“We ran out of vital supplies and oxygen in the first few days of the fighting. Many patients in intensive care died because we could not do any major surgery,” said Dr Kassaye Demeke, emergency and clinical care specialist at Gondar University Referral Hospital.
The specialist revealed that medicines, water and electricity were in short supply, hence it is impossible sometimes to clean wounds.
“We do not have enough drips, plates, and screws to stitch fractures, and are prioritizing the most critical cases,” Demeke said.
It is anticipated the intervention of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will alleviate the problems.
In collaboration with the local Red Cross has delivered urgent medical and surgical supplies to the University of Gondar Teaching and Referral Hospital, Debre Berhan Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, Lalibela General Hospital, Felege Hiwot Comprehensive Specialized Referral Hospital in Bahir Dar and Shewa Robit Primary Hospital.
These hospitals have faced increased pressure due to the influx of patients with injuries related to the fighting.
The deliveries of assistance included intravenous fluids, suture materials, antibiotics, painkillers, gloves, orthopedic and fracture repair materials, physiotherapy materials, surgical drainage tubes, anesthesia consumables and dressing materials such as gauze and bandages.
The ICRC has also assisted with the transportation of blood supplies provided by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.
“It has been difficult for our teams to move or communicate in the region, but we were able to coordinate with the most affected health facilities to overcome some immediate shortages,” said Delphine Leterrier, the ICRC’s head of sub-delegation in Gondar.
ICRC has pledged to continue mobilizing vital supplies to support more health facilities across Amhara, providing urgent healthcare services to patients with life-threatening conditions.
Amhara, the second-largest region inEthiopia, recently spilled into conflict between the national army and local militia.
The fighting comes months after a peace deal was reached in the neighbouring region of Tigray.
– CAJ News