The Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) announced that it is working on reinitiating health services, providing and facilitating the delivery of life-saving and essential medications and supplies in the Tigray region during the past month.
In the brief progress report MoT issued, it said essential medicines and medical supplies have been distributed to different areas of the region including the region’s capital Mekele.
Regarding the resumption of health services, the Ministry reported that assessments are being conducted with a team of experts sent to selected towns in addition to other related efforts being made in resuming actual services in some healthcare centers.
The Ethiopian government and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) signed a permanent cessation of hostilities peace deal in Pretoria on Nov 2. The war which is almost dragged on for about two years made the Tigray region remain under blockade with the interruption of basic services.
The Ministry disclosed that 13,460,305.95 ETB (253,968.03 USD) worth of essential medical supplies was transported to the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supplies Services (EPSS) Shire Hub and distributed to healthcare facilities in Shire and other nearby towns; A total of 20,434,489.68 (385,556.40 USD) ETB worth of medical commodities were distributed to Alamata and neighboring health facilities.
The health service provisions dispatched to the region’s capital Mekele, other cities, and the nearby health facilities by international and UN partners include a total of 158.3 metric tons of essential medicines and medical supplies.
“Through the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), anti-malaria medicines, insulin for the treatment of diabetes, dialysis consumables, TB- drugs, anti-hypertensive, family planning commodities and other lifesaving medicines with an estimated total cost of 78,763,353.82 ETB (1,486,101 USD) were shipped to Mekele,” said the Ministry of Health in a statement.
“Additional supplies are made ready by the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supplies Services to be sent soon.”
Concerning the resumption of health services, it is indicated in the brief report that Shire, Axum, and Adwa hospitals and nearby health centers were assessed. In these facilities, most staff are returning to provide care to the community. In Shire Sihul hospital, 411 of the hospital's 520 staff have returned to their previous duties.
“The hospital was able to resume providing outpatient, inpatient, and emergency, laboratory, and pharmacy services by making use of the medical equipment and supplies that were already there in addition to those that had been just delivered.”
It is also mentioned that a total of 3,524,000 ETB (66,490.56 USD) was sent to be utilized as payment for healthcare providers who started service to resume essential health services in three hospitals and 15 health centers in Axum, Shire, and Adwa towns. And the Ministry’s staff were sent to the areas to facilitate the process and have begun paying health care providers at Shire.
Addis Zeybe reported on Oct 6 that Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, the largest public Hospital in Tigray, pleaded for an urgent supply of diabetic health care supplies for diabetes patients in Tigray who it said are in a dire situation.
In a letter the hospital addressed to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ethiopian Diabetes Association (EDA) at the time, it requested the supplies explaining the severe condition diabetes patients in Tigray are undergoing and the shortage of these supplies it is suffering.