ADDIS ABEBA – Local hospitals and health facilities in Mekelle city “are running dangerously low” on medical supplies to care for the wounded as well as other mounting medical needs and conditions, said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Sunday.
The humanitarian agency said this a day after government’s law enforcement operation in Tigray concluded with the capture of the regional capital by the national defense force.
ICRC’s staff, who visited Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle on Saturday, said that they have found approximately 80 percent of patients to be suffering from traumatic injuries.
Head of operations for the ICRC in Ethiopia Maria Soledad said the influx of wounded, coupled with the limited staff and resources there, forced the hospital to suspend other medical services.
“The hospital is running dangerously low on sutures, antibiotics, anticoagulants, painkillers, and even gloves,” said Soledad, who is currently in Mekelle.
The influx of injured comes more than three weeks after supply chains were disrupted into the region.
“We need to ensure that health workers have the supplies and conditions they need to carry out their life-saving work,” ICRC’s head of operation said.
The aid agency food supplies are also low, affecting particularly those recovering from surgery and requiring specific nutritional needs.
ICRC – whose ambulances are currently active in moving around Mekelle, said it is engaging with authorities to expedite getting aid, particularly medical supplies, into the regional capital.
After announcing end of the military operations in the Tigray region, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed vowed his government’s “focus will be on rebuilding the region and providing humanitarian assistance”.
Featured Image: The Ayder Referral Hospital is a 500-bed facility linked with Mekelle University and Medical School. [Photo ENT News/File]