Addis Ababa — LOCAL hospitals and health facilities are running dangerously low on medical supplies to care for victims wounded in the conflict in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Fighting intensified this past weekend as regional forces defied a directive by the national government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Government forces bombarded the Tigray capital, Mekelle.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that ambulances run by the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) had been transporting injured and deceased people to facilities that include Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle.
The hospital is lacking in body bags for the deceased. Food supplies are also low, affecting particularly those recovering from surgery and requiring specific nutritional needs.
"The hospital is running dangerously low on sutures, antibiotics, anticoagulants, painkillers and even gloves," lamented Maria Soledad, the head of operations for the ICRC in Ethiopia.
The envoy visited Ayder and was in Mekelle at the time of publishing.
She bemoaned that the influx of injured comes more than three weeks after supply chains were disrupted into Mekelle.
"We need to ensure that health workers have the supplies and conditions they need to carry out their lifesaving work."
The arrival of 1 000 refugees from the neighbouring Eritrea in search of food and other support is worsening the situation.
Tigray, the fifth biggest of nine Ethiopian states, by size and population (5 million) has been in conflict with the national government in recent weeks.
It held local elections in defiance of a government directive.