By Staff Reporter
ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – Health experts said that patients in the war-hit Amhara Region are not getting proper medical treatment due to road blockade and failure to supply health facilities easily, sources said.
Deutsche Welle Amharic Service reported that since the end of July, many social and economic service rendering institutions have become dysfunctional due to the war that broke out in the Amhara Region.
Among the institutions that have faced problems, there are health facilities located in the West Amhara area, where the security problem is intense. Speaking of lack of medicine in Feres-Bet Town of West Gojjam Zone, a patient told Deutsche Welle that he was injured by an electrical accident and went to the hospital for medical treatment. “But as the hospital is without any drugs, I was told to purchase some from a private pharmacy for 12 thousand birr. Even worse, the medicines in the private pharmacy were running out,” he said.
An expert at Bure Hospital in West Gojjam Zone said that due to lack of medicine and blood (for transfusion), patients, especially mothers, are dying. According to the expert, lack of blood and oxygen is a very serious condition in the hospital.
The manager of Finote-Selam Hospital, Manaye Tenaw told Deutsche Welle on the phone that two expectant women have died recently due to lack of blood and oxygen supply. A doctor at Yejube Hospital in East Gojjam Zone, told us that they used to provide medical services to patients by borrowing supplies from the local Woredas, but now these Weredas have run out of the medical supplies.
A doctor at Debre-Markos Hospital, who wished to remain anonymous, said that shortages of medicine and lack of generators, as well as power outages, are especially a challenge to provide surgical services. “Working in a hospital without medicine is like going to the battlefield without ammunition,” according to the doctor.
Blood Bank coordinator of Debre-Markos Town, Kefale Gebeyehu said that the current situation has not been comfortable for us to collect blood. “There are two ways to collect blood. One is to set up temporary sheds and collect blood from volunteers, and the other is to receive volunteers who come to the blood bank centre. However, it has not been possible to do that now,” Kefale said. He further said that the closure of the roads has caused the transportation of samples to Bahir-Dar.
Asked about the supply of medicines, manager of the Bahir-Dar branch of the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Service, Amsalu Chane said that drugs which we refer to as ‘Programs’ are provided by donor organisations. There are others that are procured by their own offices, according to Amsalu. “After their arrival in Bahir-Dar, they will be distributed in relatively peaceful areas. We have been able to deliver some medicines to the East Gojjam Zone in spite of road closure and security problems. Still efforts are being made to reach West Gojjam areas, but the roads are impassable,” he said.
The experts pointed out that the problem of drug supply is especially prominent in Western Amhara areas, which are in security problems. Deutsche Welle’s attempt to get further information from the Regional Health Bureau in person was unsuccessful.
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