No drugs, no treatments – view from a Tigray hospital

A surgeon at the main hospital in the capital of Ethiopia’s Tigray region says that the 23-month civil war has led to patients dying needlessly because of a lack of medicines and treatments.

“We don’t have medicines for our patients, we don’t have surgical materials… we don’t have vaccines… we don’t have insulin,” Dr Fasika Amdeslasie told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

Tigray has been cut off for most of the conflict which has seen forces from Tigray clashing with Ethiopian federal troops and their allies since November 2020.

Some medicine has got through, thanks to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization, but the supply has been sporadic, Dr Fasika said.

He added that diabetic patients are dying because of a lack of insulin and kidney patients may also die because dialysis treatment cannot continue.

On top of this, Dr Fasika says that the staff at the hospital have not been paid for 17 months.

“We are trying to save those who we can… but it’s difficult now to save those who can be saved,” he concluded.

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