Ethiopia: Tigray's Biggest Hospital Remains Short of Medical Supply Despite Peace Deal, Pleads for Laboratory Reagents

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Addis Ababa — Doctors at Ayder Comprehensive Referral hospital, the biggest in war-torn Tigray Region told Addis Standard, that, "medicine supply remains in shortage" despite the peace deal.

Dr Kibrom G/Selassie, CEO of the hospital, which was administered by the federal government prior to the war, said they are still waiting for medicines to resume life saving medical treatments.

"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.

He added international organizations such as Red Cross and WFP are providing medical supplies but it is minimal, adding that as a federal institution, the hospital should be subsidized by the federal government.

The hospital tweeted on Monday pleading on Federal Ministry of Health and other organizations for help.

"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.

In October, Dr Kibrom told Addis Standard that the hospital was on the verge of collapse as it run out of essential drugs, lack of laboratory reagents and faulty machines that can be maintained only in Addis Abeba.

The lack of essential medicines such as cancer, antibiotics and laboratory reagents still persists, and considering the challenges that the hospital endured during the war, the federal government should give special attention to it, said Dr Kibrom.

The Federal Ministry of Health however said, in a progress report issued in December, that essential medicines and medical supplies have been distributed to the Tigray region, including in Mekelle and Shire.

According to the report, anti-malaria medicines, insulin for the treatment of diabetes, medicines for kidney dialysis, TB-drugs, anti-hypertensive, family planning commodities among other lifesaving medicines over 78 million birr were shipped to Mekele through World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

In addition the Ministry had said 158.3 metric tons of essential medicines and medical supplies were dispatched to Mekele and nearby health facilities by international and UN partners, and that, more supplies were made ready by the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supplies Services. AS

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