Armed conflict in Amhara and Afar stateLaw & JusticeNewsOp/Ed

News: Ataye District Hospital struggles to operate in aftermath of war; calls for donation of medical equipment

By Getahun Tsegaye @GetahunTsegay12

Addis Abeba –  Ataye District Hospital in the North Shewa Zone of the Amhara region is in immediate need of assistance as its laboratory has stopped operating, the hospital’s medical director Doctor Teshome Bizuayehu told Addis Standard.

The medical director stated that the laboratory was ransacked and has now stopped operating. He recalled that the hospital had only three CBC blood test machines of which two were looted and destroyed by the Tigrayan forces during the war. “Healthcare providers are now limited  to seeing their patients for physical exams and minor issues,” he said, “We have now resorted to referring our patients to hospitals in nearby towns like Shewa Robit and Debre Birhan.”

Dr. Teshome stated that the hospital was severely damaged during the war and put the estimated damages at 54 million ETB. “Even though we were able to maintain some of the damaged buildings and the physical appearances, we could not replace the medical equipment that are very much crucial to treat our patients,” he said.

Dr. Teshome mentioned that the only help Ataye hospital has gotten is from Werabe Hospital in the Silte Zone. It donated some equipment worth nearly 600,000 ETB.  “The help is much appreciated but our hospital still seeks much bigger assistance,” the medical director said. 

Ataye Hospital, in its part, issued a letter on March 12, 2022, detailing the suffering of the hospital by raids by armed groups. In the letter reviewed by Addis Standard, the hospital listed CBC/Hematology/machine reagent, Chemistry machine reagent, Electrolyte machine, and Coagulation Machine and pleaded for donations.  “Although we started operating with the help of some donations by various stakeholders, we are forced to refer many of our patients to other hospitals for lack of laboratory equipment,” the letter read. 

The medical director stated that the laboratory used to serve at least Five hundred patients a day. “Now all these patients are forced to spend extra costs to travel all the way to other cities for services they could have gotten in their hometowns,” said, adding “Not all patients are able to afford travel and other related costs and it’s unfortunate to see them like this.” AS

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